McCracken last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name McCracken is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named McCracken.

Meaning of McCracken

A Scottish occupational surname referring to a maker of sturdy leather shoes or boots.

McCracken, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the McCracken surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of McCracken in America

McCracken is the 1862nd most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The McCracken surname appeared 19,287 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 7 people would have the surname McCracken.

We can also compare 2010 data for McCracken to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 1862 1732 7.23%
Count 19,287 18,975 1.63%
Proportion per 100k 6.54 7.03 -7.22%

The history of the last name McCracken

The surname McCracken has its origins in Scotland, where it first appeared in the 15th century. The name is believed to be derived from the Gaelic words "mac" meaning "son" and "Crachadan," which is thought to be a personal name or derived from a place name.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name appears in the Register of the Great Seal of Scotland in 1493, where it is spelled "McCrachan." This suggests that the name may have originated in the area around Glasgow or the western lowlands of Scotland.

The McCracken surname is also associated with the Clan Gregor, one of the oldest and most powerful clans in the Scottish Highlands. It is believed that some members of the clan adopted the name McCracken as a variant or alias to avoid persecution during the time when the Clan Gregor was outlawed.

In the 16th century, the name appears in various records, including the Scottish Privy Council Records of 1581, which mention a "Johnne McCrachen." Another early record is the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland from 1591, which lists a "Thomas McCracken."

One of the earliest known McCrackens was Sir Robert McCracken (c. 1580-1645), a Scottish landowner and member of the Scottish Parliament. He was involved in the Scottish Reformation and supported the National Covenant of 1638.

During the 17th century, the name spread beyond Scotland as some McCrackens migrated to Ireland. One notable figure was Henry McCracken (1767-1798), an Irish Presbyterian and a leader of the Society of United Irishmen, who was executed for his role in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

Another prominent McCracken was William McCracken (1804-1863), an Irish-born American businessman and politician who served as the 12th Mayor of New York City from 1857 to 1858.

In the 19th century, a branch of the McCracken family settled in Australia, with one of the earliest being James McCracken (1828-1888), a pioneer and settler in Victoria, Australia.

A more recent notable McCracken was James McCracken (1926-1988), an American operatic tenor who performed at the Metropolitan Opera and other major opera houses around the world.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name McCracken

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname McCracken.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for McCracken was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 92.20% 17,783
Non-Hispanic Black Only 3.26% 629
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.50% 96
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.48% 93
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.69% 326
Hispanic Origin 1.87% 361

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of McCracken has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 92.20% 93.84% -1.76%
Black 3.26% 2.99% 8.64%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.50% 0.35% 35.29%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.48% 0.37% 25.88%
Two or More Races 1.69% 1.24% 30.72%
Hispanic 1.87% 1.21% 42.86%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name McCracken was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of McCracken, please contact us.

Reference this page

We spend a lot of resources downloading, cleaning, merging, and formatting the data that is shown on the site.

If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

"McCracken last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 12, 2024.

"McCracken last name popularity, history, and meaning"., Accessed 12 July, 2024

McCracken last name popularity, history, and meaning. Retrieved from

Search for a name

Search for a first or last name to learn more about its origin, meaning, and more.

Simple as that.