Recorded as Crasswell, Cresswell, Crassweller and others, this is an English surname. It is locational from any of the three places called Cresswell in Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Northumberland. The placename was spelt as "Cresswella" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and in all cases, derives from the pre 7th century "caerse" meaning cress, and "wella", a spring or stream; hence, "a stream where watercress grew". The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). Early examples of the surname recordings include John Cresswell of Yorkshire in the Oxford University Register of 1591, Mary Crasswell who married John Turner at the church of St Mary-Le-Bone in the city of London, on January 13th 1684 and Mary Ann Crassweller who married Isaac Lorkin, also at St Mary-Le-Bone, on July 29th 1851. A coat of arms associated with the family name has the blazon of a shield divided quarterly; first and fourth three red rondels charged with a silver squirrel sejant on an erminois field, second and third a goat statant armed between three gold saltires on a red field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Cressewell. This was dated 1272, in the Pipe Rolls of Staffordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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