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A British website lists the current McCracken surname population by country as:

United Kingdom      3,090  (Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales)
United States      18,975
Australia                 929
Ireland                   NDP
Canada                  NDP
New Zealand           NDP
South Africa*          572
Total:                23,566 (excluding Republic of Ireland, Canada & New Zealand)

(NDP - No data provided)

*A South African website states approximately 572 South Africans with the McCracken surname.
If the British website McCracken headcount is correct, it seems reasonable to assume that the worldwide McCracken surname population is approximately 25,000.

Below is a list of websites where you'll find useful McCracken genealogical information:

National Archives of the USA click here

Searchable US Land Record Office from Dept of Interior, BLM (free) click

Searchable Texas Land Records from Texas Land Office (free) click here

Searchable Pennsylvania Land Records from PHMC (free) click here

Searchable North Carolina Land Records from NCSA (free) click here

Accessible Archives (fee) click

The USA Gen Web Project (free) here

Rootsweb McCracken Search (free) click here

Rootsweb McCracken Message Board (free) click here

WorldCat published and unpublished material on McCracken (free)  here

Archive Grid. (free) here.

Cyndi's List. A comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online. (free) here

Movaco.  Free and Fee. here

List of worldwide newspaper archives on-line (free & fee) click here

US Library of Congress. Historic American newspapers (free) click  here

Genealogy Bank. Most extensive US newspaper archives on-line (fee)  here

California Digital Newspaper Collection (free) here

Wyoming historical newspapers (free) here

Colorado historical newspapers (free) here

North Carolina historical newspapers (free) here

Texas historical newspapers (free) here

Research Find a grave for your ancestors (free) click here

On-line searchable U.S. death indexes & records (free) click here (fee) Worldwide, US, UK or Australia memberships.  click here

Original US military records at Fold3 (fee) click

A must read for McCrackens whose ancestors settled in Pennsylvania before the American Revolutionary War. click here

Family Search (free) click here

Collection of 100,000 digitized genealogy & family history publications (free downloads) from the archives of various libraries & institutions here

British History (free) click here

Searchable census of Scotland from FreeCEN for the years 1841, 1851,1861,1871,1881 & 1891 (free) click here

ScotlandsPeople (fee) containing many McCracken records click here

This website (free) is a geographical surname locator & is rich in functionality. You can for instance drill down to a county level within a State or Province to find McCrackens. Click  

National Archives of Ireland - McCrackens enumerated during the 1901 & 1911 Census of Ireland including the counties of Ulster Province (free) click here

"Genetic homeland" based on Y-DNA results, surnames with geographical proximity during from the 1911 Irish Census (free & fee).  Search the free surnames database by clicking here.

Bill Macafee's website. Contains McCracken records from the 17th & 18th centuries including a 1633 Hearth Money Roll & a 1740 Protestant Householders Returns for County Londonderry & north Antrim. Click here  

Civil Parish Lists of
1684 for Wigtownshire & Minnigaff, Scotland with over 100 McCracken males & females enumerated. Download this 124 page PDF book (free) by clicking here

Hearth Tax List of 1695 for Wigtownshire with over 20 McCracken males & females listed. Download this 2009 University of Glasgow thesis entitled "The Significance of the Wigtowshire Hearth Tax lists" by Andrew T. Kerr here

List of numerous McCrackens  from County Down, Ireland (free) click

Northern Ireland Place Names click here

Marriages in western U.S. states

US Gen. Archives (free) click  here

Genealogy Books, Genealogy CD's & Family History material can be purchased by clicking here

When searching McCracken records in Scotland and Ireland it was not uncommon for the person collecting the information to drop the Mc or Mac and record the name as Cracken. So check for your McCracken under the C's.

McCracken Trivia

Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492. When did the first McCracken arrive?

That distinction appears to belong to a John McCracken whose estate was probated at Christchurch, Barbados on Oct 18, 1670.  In 1678 about 100 Irish families left Barbados and sailed to Virginia & the Carolinas.

When’s the first record of a McCracken marriage?

Scotland – Margaret McCrachen & Johne Smyth on 9 Nov 1652 at the Parish of Ochiltree, Ayr County.

Ireland – Mary McCrackin & Archiball McClene on 22 Jan 1662 at Derry Cathedral, Parish Templemore, County Londonderry.

Colonies - John McCraken of Shrewsbury and Jane Anderson of Boston on 27 Mar 1729 at Boston, Massachusetts.

When's the first record of a McCracken attending an institution of higher learning?

That honor appears to be held by Alexander McCracken an Irish student at Edinburgh University in 1673.  

In the American Colonies, Thomas McCracken of New Castle, Delaware graduated from Princeton University in 1762.

Were there any McCracken Indian traders in North America?

Several McCrackens from Pennsylvania and Virginia were Indian traders before and during the French and Indian War. 

The Corp of Discovery explorers of the Louisiana Purchase (Lewis & Clark) recorded in their journal during 1804 having meet Hugh McCracken at the Mandan Indian village in present day North Dakota.  

Have any McCracken men held high military rank?

Two McCrackens were American admirals and one was a British general.

Have any McCrackens held high positions in government?

Paul Winston McCracken was the Economic Advisor for several American Presidents.

Brian Moore McCracken served on the Supreme Court of Ireland.


Have any McCracken ever won an Olympic medal?

Joe McCracken won both a silver and a bronze representing the USA at the 1900 Olympic summer games held in Paris.  He also was a Walter Camp collegiate "All American" football player. 

Have any McCracken played professional football (soccer)?

Yes, quite a few.  Arguably the best known McCracken footballer is William McCracken of Belfast who played in the English league for New Castle United.  The off-sides trap rule is attributed to him.

Were there any McCracken outlaws in the American Old West?

There were several McCracken cattle rustlers, horse thieves and gunfighters. 

Were there any McCracken involved in the Gold Rush days in the American West?

There were quite a few "49ers in California with the McCracken surname. The only McCracken proven to have "struck it rich" was South Carolinian Jackson McCrackin who made a fortune off his silver mine in Arizona Territory.

What's one of the more unusual phonetic spelling of the McCracken surname?  McKerachan

Captain William McKerachan, a school teacher from Belfast died on July 3, 1778 at the Battle of Wyoming during the American Revolutionary War.  Curiously William is listed as McCracken in earlier period Pennsylvania and New Jersey records, yet his name is chiseled on the Battle of Wyoming monument plaque as McKerachan.  To view his misspelled name on the plaque click here

It goes to show when researching a McCracken ancestor that you can’t be too pernickety about the spelling of the McCracken name.   Remember that only 150 years ago most people could not read or write. The spelling of the McCracken surname was in many instances transcribed as how the person recording the name thought it should be spelled.  It many instances they’d spell it phonetically.  When pronouncing McCracken it is easy to understand how it might end up being recorded as McKerachan.

Top 10 states with McCracken interments (Source: Find-a-Grave & includes most surname variants. The second number listed after the / is the total  including women who are listed with a McCracken maiden name)

PA:  1781/2067

OH:   840/977

TX:    697/873

MO:   653/768

 IN:    651/760

NC:    560/744

 IL:     520/631

CA:    489/553

TN:    448/533

OK:    434/501

At Find-a-Grave the overall McCracken surnames totals are US 14,381; Canada 467;  Australia 91; Scotland 33; New Zealand  30; England 22; Northern Ireland 11 & South Africa 0.

You can receive a complimentary membership in the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) here

ISOGG webpage for DNA-Newbies here 

If you'd like to make a donation to the McCracken general fund please click here.

© Ken McCracken.