This name, with variant spellings Crake and Creyk, is of northern English locational origin from a place in the North Riding of Yorkshire called Crayke. Recorded as Crec in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 685 A.D. and as Creic in the Domesday Book of 1086, the name derives from the Olde Welsh "Creic" (modern "Craig") meaning a rock. The place is, in fact, situated on a ridge. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). Henry de Crake of Dumfriesshire, who rendered homage in 1296, was an early namebearer in Scotland. One, Philipus de Crayk appears in the 1379 "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire" and in 1435 Walter Blakeder (Scotland). In 1453 Andrew Craik witnessd a "letter of sesing of the hold of Dumdurnach" (from "Collections for a history of the shires of Aberdeen and Banff). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph (de) Crake, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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