This famous Scottish surname, found as Crawford, Crawfurd and Crauford, is locational in origin, from the old Barony of Crawford in the Upper ward of Lanarkshire, and is one of the earliest recorded Scottish surnames (see below). The placename is of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning "crow's ford", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century nickname "crawa", from "crawa", crow, with "ford", ford; there are places in the English counties of Dorsetshire and Lancashire which have the same name and meaning. Sir Reginald de Crauford was sheriff of Ayr during the region of William the Lion, King of Scotland 1165 - 1214, and one Roger de Crawford witnessed Eustace de Balliol's charter to Holyrood in 1262. An interesting bearer of the name was Thomas Crawford (1530 - 1603), who became one of Lord Darnley's supporters and attempted to bring his murderer's to justice. Crawford received the surrender of Edinburgh Castle in 1573, and his services were rewarded with a grant of lands at Dalry in 1578. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Crauford (charter witness), which was dated circa 1147, in the "Records of the Abbey of Kelso", during the reign of King David 1 of Scotland, 1124 - 1153. 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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