This interesting surname is believed to be of medieval Germanic origins, and to derive from Krans or Krantz. This word is generally accepted as being job-descriptive for one who made Rosary beads or wreaths which were sold to pilgrims. However, it can also be locational, and derive from the city of Crans, although the meaning is much the same. However, it is also probably that some nameholders derive from the Olde English "cran", meaning the crane (bird), the name in that case being a nickname for one who had long legs! The name was probably introduced, when not from the Olde English, by the 13th Century Flemish weavers, and also the engineers from the same country, brought into East Anglia to drain the fen-lands. Recordings include: Thomas le Cran, of Somerset, in 1243, whilst William Crans was a witness in Southwark, London, 1640. The "link spelling may be Magdalen Cranis, recorded at St. Dunstan's Church, Stepney, on December 27th 1615, whilst Joseph Crannis was a christening witness at the Church of St. George the Martyr, Southwark, on February 23rd 1803. 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 1, 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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