This most interesting and curious surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a Devonian dialectal variant of the English surname Crane, Cran, which itself was a nickname for a tall, thin man with long legs, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cran(uc), cron(uc), corn(uc)", a crane. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics, as in this instance, the long-legged crane.One Jordan Cran is recorded in the Curia Rolls of Essex in 1216. Crang itself is found widespread in the Devonshire Church Registers; recordings include: the christening of Richard Crang at North Molton, on March 26th 1539, and his brother, John, also at North Molton, in August 1544; the marriage of William Crange and Ales Vyccarie at North Molton, on January 31st 1557; and the marriage of Paule Crange and Johana Hernaman on February 18th 1558, at Knowstone. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert Crane, which was dated 1177, in the "Pipe Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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