Family History and Genealogy Resources by Surname
Rankin Surname Origin
This name may be derived from the Danish Rank, right, upright, erect. If the name is Gaelic, it would come from Roinn, a promontory, share, or division, and Ceann, head; the head of the promontory, a name of place. Ranken, in the Dutch, signifies pranks, tricks.
Source: An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names With an Essay on their Derivation and Import; Arthur, William, M.A.; New York, NY: Sheldon, Blake, Bleeker & CO., 1857.
Rankin Surname Meaning and Family Facts
There is more to Rankin family history than the origin of your surname:
A Rankin Family History Thought:
'Life is lived forward, but understood backwards.'