c. 1200, craftmonnen (plural); late 14c., craftise men, "one skilled in a manual occupation," from genitive of craft (n.) + man (n.1). Written as one word from late 14c. Old English had cræftiga in this sense. Craftswoman is recorded from 1886; craftsperson from 1904; craftspeople from 1856.
word-forming element meaning "quality, condition; act, power, skill; office, position; relation between," Middle English -schipe, from Old English -sciepe, Anglian -scip "state, condition of being," from Proto-Germanic *-skepi- (cognates: Old Norse -skapr, Danish -skab, Old Frisian -skip, Dutch -schap, German -schaft), from *skap- "to create, ordain, appoint," from PIE root *(s)kep-, forming words meaning "to cut, scrape, hack" (see shape (v.)). It often forms abstracts to go with corresponding concretes (friend/friendship, etc.).