Genealogy: Cranna-Main-Duncan-Duguid-Campbell-Gaul-Murray-Taylor-Croll-Sievewright-Simpson-Gerrard-Gill

The Cranna Family Genealogy

A word about this site:  Most of the information here is about Patricia Cranna Keller's ancestry.  However, through research and communication with other Crannas, a broader genealogy of the Cranna family is also provided.    Supporting links include detailed family histories, GEDCOM files, current researchers and copies of source documents.  Many of the source documents are provided in Adobe Acrobat format suitable for direct printing or downloading. A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded by clicking here.  Any suggestions, corrections, and, in particular, additional materials are welcomed.

Family Origins

The Crannas are a small and very regionally located family.  To the best of my knowledge, all Crannas in the World are descended from those in a small region of Aberdeenshire, Scotland to the North and East of Aberdeen.  While all Crannas are most likely related within a small number of generations, I have thus far been unable to tie them to a single ancestor.  Thus there are a number of branches whose connection is uncertain.  Many of the Crannas are still in Aberdeenshire, but there also branches in England, Canada, the United States, Australia and, I'm sure, elsewhere.

Some in the family believe the name is of Norwegian (i.e, Viking) origin since it is native to Aberdeenshire (i.e., near Norway) and is not a common Scottish name.  The "The Surnames of Scotland", however, indicates, page 182, that it may originate from Crannach:

"CRANNA.  A softened form of Crannach.  Sometime before 1489 Thomas Cranno held the cure of souls in Fyvy.  His tombstone there bears the inscription: 'Hicjacet Thomas de Cranno, orate pro anima' (Illus., I. p. 496)"

"CRANNACH.  Of local origin from some place of the name, which in Gaelic signifies 'abounding in trees'.  There are places named Cranna, Crannah, and Crannoch in Banffshire.  John Cranok, bishop of Caithness in 1425 (Bain, IV, 988), appears again as John de Crannoch, Bishop of Brechin, 1429-51 (REB, I, pref. p. ix, x).  David de Crannoch, canon of Aberdeen, is mentioned in 1433 (ibid, I, p.59) and Robert de Crannacht was cantor of Brechin in 1444 (ibid, I, p.98).  His seal is appended to a Brechin document in 1453 (Seals, p.206).  Laurence Crennoch, notary public, is in record in 1470 (RAA, II, 186)"

There are, however, no early church birth or marriage records for the name Crannach in Aberdeenshire, while there are many for Cranna and Cranno.  The earliest records for Cranna are in Methlick Parish and the adjacent New Deer Parish,  Aberdeenshire; John Cranna, son of William Cranna was christened on 27 September 1684 and John Cranna married Jean Lind in 1696.   A William Cranna, son of Joh. Cranna, was christened on 23 February 1696 in the adjacent parish of Tarves, Aberdeenshire.  Other records of this period (1684-1750)show the Crannas to be nearly exclusively in Methlick and New Deer Parishes.  It is possible that all Crannas who appeared in surrounding parishes of Aberdeenshire in the 19th century originated from the Methlick/New Deer progenitors.

Ancestry of Patricia May Cranna

My wife, Trish, is descended from Alexander Cranna, born in 1808.  I've not uncovered reliable Cranna ancestors or connections to her line prior to Alexander.   Other than Trish and one other Cranna who moved to Ireland and one who died in the United States, all others of this line appear to have remained in Scotland or England.  The complete genealogy is provided in the Alexander Cranna Genealogy

   Alexander Cranna----------------------------- b.       1808 d.       1880
       William Cranna--------------------------- b.22 Aug 1835 d.       1873
           Donald Stewart Cranna---------------- b.30 Mar 1873 d            
                William Cranna------------------- b. 6 Dec 1894 d.13 Jun 1962 
                     Donald George Cranna--------- b.12 Feb 1920 d.10 Aug 1973  
                      Patricia May Cranna------ b. 9 Apr 1947 d.          
        Veronica May Wolff----------- b.11 Jun 1920 d.
               Maggie Jane Main----------------- b.21 Aug 1896 d. 4 Mar 1983
Barbara Duncan----------------------- b.       1875 d.
Mary Gaul-------------------------------- b.       1837 d.       1914
   Margaret Campbell---------------------------- b.    ca 1810 d.   bef.1858

The following section discusses other Cranna lines.  One thing does appear reasonably certain.  All Crannas throughout the World are descended from those originating in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  Fortunately, Cranna is such an uncommon name, that there are very few lines to research.

Crannas in Scotland

There is little information concerning the Crannas in the church records prior to 1800.  After that there are a few distinct Cranna lines, but little to tie them together.  In addition there are some "disconnected" Crannas, not tied to any particular line.  Reliance on the church records, of course, does not guarantee a complete genealogy since many Cranna marriages, births and deaths may not be recorded in the church registers.

The Church of Scotland in Aberdeenshire was organized into some 81 Parishes (see parish map).  In the 18th and early to mid 19th Century, most Cranna records appear in only 10 of these:

Aberdeen (St. Nicholas), Crimond, Fraserburgh, King Edward, Methlick, Monquhitter, New Deer, Peterhead, Rathen and Strichen.

A few (sometimes only one or two) also appear in Aberdour, Fyvie, Huntly, Lonmay, Old Deer, Old Machar, Pitsligo, and Tarves.  Although most parishes contain a village of the same name, persons could reside anywhere in the parish, not necessarily in the village.  The earlier , 18th and early 19th Century,  families were grouped in Methlick, New Deer, and Tarves.   Thus, the origins appear to be in the vicinity of where Methlick, New Deer, and Tarves  Parishes adjoin, near the present village of Cairnmoorie, about 25 miles North of Aberdeen.  Maximum distances to the other parishes from this point are only a matter of 15 or 20 miles, so the Crannas didn't wander too far from their origins.  Most appeared to migrate North into Monquhitter, King Edward, Strichen, Fraserburgh, Crimond and  nearby parishes.  The following links are to tables of the individuals identified in the birth/christening, marriage and death records of the General Register Office of Scotland for each of the 10 primary parishes:

Aberdeen Saint Nicholas Parish - 1684-1910.
Crimond Parish - 1863-1873.
Fraserburgh Parish - 1834-1873.

King Edward Parish - 1857-1874.
Methlick Parrish - 1684-1844.
Monquhitter Parish - 1830-1855.
New Deer Parish - 1719-1811.
Peterhead Parish - 1852-1811.
Rathen Parish - 1828-1832.
Strichen Parish - 1803-1870.

For a printable pdf version of all records, click here

Cranna family information is also available from the 1881, 1891 and 1901 UK censuses.  This census information has been summarized in the following documents:

1881 Census
1891 Census
1901 Census

The information from these sources has identified some distinct multi-generational lines of Cranna families and others which cannot be related for more than a single generation.  These lines are identified by the original ancestor in the following sections.  The parenthetical notation, e.g., (CR001), is used to identify members of this line in various source documents and reports.  Click on the Name Title to see the entire genealogy report for the line.

Alexander Cranna (1808 - 1880) & Margaret Campbell (CR001)

"Waterfall" Descendant Chart

Alexander Cranna and Margaret Campbell lived in Monquhitter Parish at least between 1830 and 1840 where four of their children were born.  Their son, William married Mary Gaul in 1858 and they lived in King Edward Parish where all of their children were born.


James Cranna (ca 1820 - ) & Isabella Bruce (CR002)

Robert Cranna (ca 1800 - 1867) & Catherine Florence (CR004)

Crannas in America

Cranna Genealogy Reports and Gedcoms

I have prepared genealogy reports for various branches of the Crannas using R00TS IV/Ultimate Family Tree.  The data contained in these reports may be downloaded as Gedcom Files.  The following reports are currently available:

Cranna Family References


On Line Source Materials

Certain source materials have been converted to Adobe Acrobat format and are available for direct printing or downloading.

Cranna Researchers

Maintenance of the Cranna Web Site:

Cranna Queries also may be made through the ROOTSWEB Cranna Mailing List: If you wish to subscribe to the list send a message that contains only the word subscribe to: If you wish to receive only the digest mode, send the "subscribe" message to: Following are individuals researching the Cranna family who may have additional information . 

Other links of interest for Cranna research


Our own Links
Jim and Trish Keller's Homepage
Jim and Trish Keller's Genealogy Page 

Changes last made on: 24 January 2003