This early surname, with spellings Crake, Crack, Crayke, and Creyk, is usually English and now Scottish, and almost certainly of locational origins from a place in the North Riding of Yorkshire called Crayke. Recorded as "Crec" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 685 A.D. and as "Creic" in the Domesday Book of 1086, the name derives from the Olde Welsh "Creic" (modern "Craig") meaning a rock. The modern village is situated on a ridge or escarpment overlooking the Vale of York. Like many Yorkshire surnames, for reasons unknown it "emigrated" to Scotland in the Medieval Period. Henry de Crake, of Dumfriesshire, being an early recording there, when he rendered homage to the government of Scotland in 1296. Other early examples include Philipus de Crayk, in the 1379 "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", and in 1453 Andrew Craik of Scotland, witnessd a "letter of sesing of the hold of Dumdurnach" (from "Collections for a history of the shires of Aberdeen and Banff, Scotland. There is just a faint possibility that some nameholders may derive from the pre 7th century word "crake", meaning a crow of raven, making the name a nickname. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Crake, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 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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