This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either Cranmere in Shropshire or Cranmore in Somerset. The placenames were recorded as "Crenemere" in the 1084 Geld Roll; as "Crenemelle" in the Domesday Book of 1086; and as "Cranemere" in the 1196 Pipe Rolls of the county, and the derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cran", crane, a migratory bird with long legs and neck, and "mere", lake, pool; hence, "lake where cranes frequented". During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name.In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Cranmere, Cranmer, Cranmor and Cranmore. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Anne Cranmer and Arthur Harris at St. Mary's, Aldermanbury, on July 27th 1606; the marriage of Samewell Cranmer and Margaret Alford on March 8th 1613, at St. Martin's, Pomeroy; and the marriage of John Cranmer and Anne Gravner at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf, on March 21st 1616. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a blue chevron between three blue cranes on a silver shield, the Crest being a blue crane's neck erased, pierced through the back of the neck with an arrow proper barbed and plumed silver, the neck vulned red. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh de Cranemere, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire", 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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