This picturesque name is of Anglo Saxon origin and is a nickname surname given to a tall thin man, or someone with long legs, or some other fancied resemblance to the bird. The derivation is from the old English "cran(uc)", "cron(uc)", "cren(uc)", which means a crane and until the introduction of a separate word in the 14th Century also a heron.
Cran (1219, Curia Rolls of Essex). William
(1235, Feet of Fines of Essex) Thomas
le Cran (1243, Assize Rolls of Somerset).
Interesting name-bearers were William Crane, water-bailiff for the town and harbour of Dartmouth, Devon, 1509 - 1510, and controller of the tonnage and poundage of customs in the port of London 1514.
Crane, secretary to Charles 1 then Prince of Wales, reported in 1619 to have received the valuable privilege of creating three baronets. Richard
Crane aged 32 yrs., who embarked from London on the "Thomas" bound for Virginia in 1635 was an early emigrant to the New World.
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 II.