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Surname McCrackan - Meaning and Origin

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McCrackan: What does the surname McCrackan mean?

The last name McCrackan is of Scottish origin and was derived from one of the sons of MacCrae, a clan from the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The prefix of ‘Mc’ means ‘son of’, so the name McCrackan would mean a descendant of Crae. The name is likely derived from the Gaelic word meaning ‘son of the rock’, or ‘son of the steep place/cliff’.

The surname probably originated as a descriptive name for someone who lived in a rocky or steep place. Alternately, it may have derived from a personal name – possibly from the Old English word ‘craece’, which means ‘hooked’ or ‘bent’.

Many records are found regarding the McCrackan family, from the time of the Scottish Reformation (16th century) onwards. Notable bearers of the name included William McCrackan, a signatory to the National Covenant in 1638, and Sir Archibald McCrackan of Shewalton, chosen by the Shire of Ayr to sit in the Scottish Parliament in 1640.

The McCrackan surname is still found mainly in Scotland, but can also be found in Northern Ireland and the English Midlands. While the MacCrae clan chief still rules over the Isle of Skye, the McCrackan name carries its own legacy of strength and endurance, in its example of more than four centuries of long-term presence within Scotland.

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McCrackan: Where does the name McCrackan come from?

The last name McCrackan is commonly thought to have its ancestral origins in central Scotland, primarily in the clans of MacNaught and McNaughton. The surnames are typically documented to many centuries back and is mainly found in the counties believed to be the original homeland of the clans. In modern times, the last name McCrackan is particularly common in the United States. It is one of the most common names found in the states of Wyoming, Oklahoma, and California. Areas of settlement of this surname include the Southwest, Mountain Region, Mid-Atlantic, and the Southeast.

In addition, the name has spread to other parts of the world including Canada, Australia, and Central and South America. In Scottish clans, the name is found in the counties of Perthshire (also spelled as Perth Link and Perth Shire), Stirlingshire, Aberdeenshire, and Dumfriesshire. All of these regions have a long history of McCrackan family presence and have certain surnames considered to be common in those counties.

The last name McCrackan is also found in distributed locations across England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Ireland, as well as other parts of the United Kingdom. In England and Wales, the McCrackan’s are particularly common in areas such as Lancashire, Cheshire, and Northumberland.

Variations of the surname McCrackan

McCrackan is a surname with many different variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin.

The most popular version of this surname is McCrackan, sometimes seen as Mc Cracken. It is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic Mac Raghnaill, derived from the personal name Raghnall, a compound of the elements rag “precious” and val “rule”. These names have been used to form numerous Gaelic and Anglicized surnames, including MacRaghnaill, MacCracken, Crack, Creggan and Cregan.

Other variants include MacCrackin, MacRackan, MacRracken, MacRackin, MacCracking, MacGeckin, MacGackin, Magragan, Magraghan, Magrachan, Magrachen, and Makron.

Variations that end in -son or -sen are believed to have originated from Scandinavian settlers who came into contact with the MacRaghnaill family. These include McCrasons, Macksons, McGhie, McGhee and MacKinsons, as well as the Scottish Meekson, McGaugheys and McGway.

Many of these names have been Anglicized and simplified over the years, such as Cracken/Crackin, Cregan, Creegan, Craigen, Carrigan, Crack and Gregan.

The practice of double-barrelling names has also been used with McCrackan; examples include McCracken-Murray or McRackan-Jones.

Famous people with the name McCrackan

  • Gavin McCrackan: Scottish professional footballer
  • Robert McCrackan: Northern Irish politician
  • Graham McCracken: British visual artist
  • JJ McCracken: Scottish painter and illustrator
  • John McCracken: American painter
  • Derek McCracken: Scottish politician
  • James McCracken: American operatic tenor
  • Terence McCracken: South African badminton player
  • Claire McCracken: Australian comedian and TV presenter
  • Kenny McCracken: Scottish musician and songwriter

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