Descendants of Robert and Frances (Young) Crinklaw are now found in many places in the United States and Canada. Although the Crinkley variation of the Scottish surname, Crinklaw, was used in Northumberland County, England, this family returned to their Scottish surname, Crinklaw, when they moved to the USA.  Crinklaw is a geographically-based name which comes from a particular small hill, called Crink Law (Crooked Hill) located in the Borders area of Scotland very close to England.


The Crinklaw/Crinkley family of Andrew B. Crinkley and his siblings continued to use Crinkley as their surname in Perth County, Ontario, Canada and in North Carolina.  The Elgin Plantation house, built in 1832, which they purchased in 1873 in North Carolina is considered to be an impressive example of Federal architecture.  It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is one of North Carolina's significant historic properties, and is under a protective covenant held by Preservation North Carolina.

Another North American Crinklaw Family: Migrants from Northumberland County, England in Early 1800s

Robert Crinklaw/Crinkley and Family From Northumberland Co., England to New York State, USA c. 1818

Robert Crinklaw/Crinkley (1791 Chatton Parish, Northumberland Co., England - 1873 Lawrenceville, St. Lawrence Co., New York, USA), his wife, Frances (Young) Crinklaw/Crinkley (c. 1792 England - 1857 Lawrenceville, St. Lawrence Co., New York, USA) and their children, James (born 1814), Andrew (born 1815) and Job (born 1817) migrated from England to Westport, Essex Co., New York State, USA about 1818.  Westport is a town on Lake Champlain.  The end of the Napoleonic War in Europe had resulted in very difficult economic times for the farming sector in England and may have prompted the family's move to the USA.  Five more children were born in Westport: Mary Ann in 1819; John in 1821; Frances in 1825; Mariah in 1826; and Eleanor in 1828.  The family moved to Brushton, Franklin Co., New York and in 1838 to a farm in Lawrence Co., New York.  This family farm was passed on to the eldest son, James Crinklaw, and to his son, Jerome Crinklaw.  Robert Crinklaw/Crinkley is the son of Andrew Crinklaw/Crinkley (c. 1759-c. 1830) and his wife, Ann Pringle (c. 1755-1837).  Robert's parents, Andrew and Ann (Pringle) Crinklaw/Crinkley died in Northumberland Co., England and may have been born there.  It is possible that Andrew Crinklaw/Crinkley migrated from Hownam Parish, Scotland in order to find employment and later married Ann Pringle in Northumberland County, England.  Robert's nephews, Andrew Brown Crinkley and William Brown Crinkley, his niece, Ann Crinkley, and his widowed sister-in-law, Barbara (Brown) Crinkley, later migrated to North America about 1863.  

Andrew & William Brown Crinklaw/Crinkley and Family From Northumberland Co., England to Perth Co., Ontario, Canada c. 1863 & to North Carolina, USA in 1873

Andrew Brown Crinkley (1830 Chatton Parish, Northumberland Co., England - 1915 Warrenton, Warren Co., North Carolina, USA), his siblings, William Benjamin Brown Crinkley (1835-1906) and Ann Crinkley (1832-1906), and their mother, Barbara (Brown) Crinkley (1797- c. 1872) migrated to Perth County, Ontario, Canada about 1863.  Barbary (Brown) Crinkley was the widow of John Crinkley (1792-1853 Chatton Parish, Northumberland Co., England), tailor, and son of Andrew and Ann (Pringle) Crinkley. In Perth County, Ontario, Canada, Andrew and William Crinkley worked as sawyers.  Andrew married Janet Stewart (born c. 1836 Scotland - 1897 Warrenton, Warren Co., North Carolina, USA) and had sons, John James in 1865; James Stewart in 1869; and Brown in 1871. In 1873, likely after the death of Barbary (Brown) Crinkley, the family moved to Warren Co., North Carolina where they purchased from the Mitchel family [given that family's financial problems resulting from the American Civil War (1861-1865)] Elgin Plantation containing about 2000 acres and a house built in 1832. Andrew and Janet (Stewart) Crinkley had sons, Duncan Ferguson in 1874; William Andrew in 1876; and Alexander in 1879.  The Crinkleys and their tenant/share cropping farmers and labourers were engaged in lumbering with a saw mill and spoke factory, brewing, sheep raising for wool and meat, and cotton production and cotton ginning. The plantation was passed to Andrew B. Crinkley's eldest son, John James Crinkley, and remained in the Crinkley family for 115 years from 1873-1988. It was about 300 acres in size in 1988.    

Alternative Explanations for the Surname, Crinkley, in Northumberland County, England

Crinklaw is a geographically-based name which comes from a particular small hill, called Crink Law (Crooked or Twisted Hill) located in the Borders area of Scotland very close to England. It has been suggested that the surname, Crinkley, was a place name taken directly from a long-disappeared settlement in Northumberland.  The name, Kringla Leah/Kringlaleah, would have come from the Old Norse word, kringla, meaning a circle, and the Old English word, leah, meaning a wood or clearing, hence Kringlaleah, the village at a circle-clearing surrounded by woods.  There are five Crinkley records for births and marriages in Northumberland from 1658-1692 (1658, 1662, 1664, 1667, 1692) and two records from 1700-1712 (1704, 1712).  There is a gap (broken by a marriage in 1757) until the 1776 and 1785 marriages of the ancestors of the only recorded Crinkley family found to live in Northumberland after 1776, the ancestors and extended family of Robert Crinkley/Crinklaw, Andrew Brown Crinkley and William Brown Crinkley.  There are very few Crinkley records in England outside Northumberland.  Many records transcribed as Crinkley for people born in Cheshire, Staffordshire, Norfolk and Yorkshire, when seen in the original, were actually written with a different surname, for example, Critehley, Cringley and Crockley, and cannot be assumed to be Crinkley descendants.  There may be Lincolnshire-born and London, Middlesex County-born Crinkleys who have no apparent relationship to the one Northumberland Crinkley family found in Northumberland after 1776.  The relationship between the Scottish Crinklaws/Krinklaws (earliest record 1627), the Scottish Crinkleys (including Crinkly, Crinklie, Crinklay, Krinklay and Krinkly, with the earliest record for such Scottish surnames found in 1714) and the Northumberland Crinkleys will remain a matter of speculation. Interpretations of the surname, Crinkley in Northumberland County, England, must consider similar surnames in Roxburghshire, Scotland across the border.  It is noteworthy that Robert Crinkley, when he migrated to New York State in 1818, changed his family's surname from Crinkley to Crinklaw.  Was he changing his surname back to its Scottish original form?