This most interesting and unusual surname is of either Anglo-Saxon or French origin. Firstly, it may derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "creas", Middle English "crease", meaning fine, elegant, as a nickname for someone who dressed in fine clothes. The surname may also have originated from the Old French word "crass", big, fat, which was probably used as a nickname. Variants of the surname in the modern idiom include Crass, Crace, and Craise, as well as Crease, Crees and Creese. The surname itself dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086, and is well-documented as a peculiarly Cornish local surname. Other early examples of the surname include Hervey le Cras, recorded in Staffordshire, circa 1130, in "Sir Christopher Hatton's Book of Seals", and Rogerus Crassus, mentioned in the Curia Rolls of Leicestershire in 1203. Robert Krase is listed in 1277 in Suffolk, in the Book of Ely. Alles and Peter Crasse were married on October 13th 1546 at Camborne, in Cornwall, while Redigonn, daughter of Phillipp and Margarett Craze was christened on December 7th 1628 at Luxulyan in Cornwall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Normannus Crassus, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, Lincolnshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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