It is almost certain that this name is locational from a now "lost" medieval village called "Colgrove" - the Cold Wood", however this is not proven as the precise site of the village has not been found. The first recording of the name has an almost "French" appearance but this is quite common and usually a mistaken spelling caused by dialect. The forced clearance and destruction of villages in the 17th Century to allow for sheep farming resulted int he disappearance of over seven thousand such places and a rapid growth in city dwellers. In this case the name spellings and recordings include Henry Colgrave (1673), Francis Collgrave (1674), Frances Colegrove (1680), George Colegrave (1772), Robert Colgreave (1829) etc.. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margreat Coulegrave, which was dated April 5th 1635, married Willi Kirbye at St. Pancras Church, Soper Lane, London, during the reign of King Charles I, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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