Recorded as Crack, Crake, Crayke, Creyk, Craiker, Crayker, Cracker, Craker, and possibly others, this is an English surname which is also associated with Scotland. There are two possible origins. The first is that it is a nickname surname from the word "crayke", meaning a crow or raven, and hence a person with the characteristics of thosebirds, and the second and most likely as shown by the early recordings, that it locational from a village called Crayke in North Yorkshire. This village occupies a prominent and defensible position on a rock rising out of the Plain of York some ten miles north of the city itself. Its importance is shown by its first known recording in the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of the year 685 a.d. The derivation is from the Old British word creic meaning a rock. Like some other predominently Yorkshire surnames, for reasons unknown, many nameholders "emigrated" to Scotland in the Medieval period. Early recordings include Henry de Crake of Dumfriesshire, who rendered homage to the government of Scotland in 1296, Philipus de Crayk in the Poll Tax register of Yorkshire in 1379, and Andrew Craik, who in 1453 witnessd a "letter of sesing of the hold of Dumdurnach" in the records of the shires of Aberdeen and Banff, Scotland. The spellings ending in -er indicate a person of Crayke, and an example is that of Myles Craker at the church of St Benet Fink in the city of London on October 16th 1604. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Ralph de Crake. This was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Edward 1st (1272 - 1307). Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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