Variants Cronshaw, Cronckshaw, and Crankshaw. One derivation has it as a habitation name from Cranshaw in Lancashire. The name has a tenuous connection with the Pendle witches in that a Jennet Cronckshawe who "had a mark in her secrets" was tried at Lancaster for laming and wasting the body of a Mary Pollard. I am using the Cronkshaw spelling as that is how my great-grandmother Alice Ann Cronkshaw spelt her name and was therefore the first spelling I met. However spelling has varied even for my own line. Pre-1800 my ancestors were in Blackrod and although my 3g-grandfather, John, left Blackrod for Clitheroe perhaps around 1820 he left a great many 'cousins' in the Blackrod area. A look at the registers for St Katherine, Blackrod (published by LPRS) indicates that Crankshaw became the 'standard' spelling for many of these people but some of my earlier ancestors in the parish certainly used Cronkshaw or Cronckshaw.

Hugh Crankshaw, my 5g-grandfather, married Ann RAWLINSON in 1769 in St Peter, Bolton. They had a large number of children (about 15) and Moses Crankshaw, my 4g-grandfather was born in 1772 as their 3rd child. In 1796 he married a Martha HAMPSON in Upholland. Her parents were Peter HAMPSON and Alice LOMAX. Moses and Martha ("Matty") had at least 9 children, the middle one being John Crankshaw, my 3g-grandfather, born in Blackrod in 1806. Like his brothers and sisters he was baptised in St Katherine, Blackrod. He married Ellen Nowel in 1827 at St Mary Magdalene in Clitheroe. Ellen Nowell may be the daughter of John Nowell and Ann Swales who married in Clitheroe in 1793. According to the IGI several children were baptised to John Nowell and Ann in the period from 1794 to 1816 and Ellen was the middle one being baptised in 1807. John Cronkshaw and Ellen had several children (dates approximate)

  • Sarah 1829 Clitheroe
  • Ann 1833 Clitheroe
  • Ellen 1835 Stockport m Joshua FIELDEN/FIELDING
  • Moses 1837 Stockport m Esther HAWORTH 1867
  • Alice 1839 Stockport (Daw Bank)
  • Elizabeth 1841 Clitheroe
  • Mary 1844 Clitheroe m John FORD 1866
  • John 1847 Clitheroe

Sarah had a child, Alice Ann Cronkshaw, born in Rawtenstall in 1855. Alice Ann married a Joseph Parkinson in 1877 and they had 12 children

In the 1851 Census John and his family are at 11 East Parade, Lower Booths and he is stated to be a calico printer. In 1861 They are in the same area but have moved to Brickfields. Sarah is missing from the family home but Alice Ann is there as grand-daughter. Ellen Nowel died probably in 1867 and in 1871 John snr, a widower, is in the household of his daughter Ellen and her husband Joshuah Fielden. In 1881 he is boarding with another daughter Mary and her husband John FORD in Haslingden. I have not been able to find him in the 1891 census and he is likely the John Crankshaw who died in 1891 just before the census when John and Mary FORD are living in Helmshore with their adopted son John William BELL and a lodger. They seem to have died without any children of their own.

Ellen married a Joshua FIELDEN. Born in Walsden he became a wholesale grocer. They had 2 (at least) children: Joshua born about 1868 and Ernest about 1874

Moses married Esther Haworth and in 1871 is living in Rawtenstall with her, her (probably not his) illegitimate daughter Jane, and his niece Alice Ann, Sarah's daughter who is also my great-grandmother. In 1881 and 1891 there is a grandson who I assume is Jane's bastard child. He appears to have died without issue. Esther Haworth was the daughter of Robert and Jane Haworth who on the 1861 census both give their birthplace as Higham although elsewhere this appears as Salesbury or Clayton-le-Dale.

Last update 23/01/2006