This curious surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is of locational derivation from some minor, unrecorded, or now "lost" place called Croxford, believed to have been situated in one of the Midland counties, perhaps Northamptonshire. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared since the 12th Century, due to such natural causes as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, and to the widespread practice of enforced "clearing" and enclosure of rural lands for sheep pastures from the 15th Century onward.The placename itself was probably composed of the Old Norse "Krokr", Old Danish "Krok", originally a byname from "krokr", a hook, and the Olde English pre 7th Century "-ford", a ford. The surname may also have derived from Crockford in the county of Oxfordshire, named with the same elements. Early recordings of the surname include Walter de Crukeford, in the Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls of 1273, and William de Crockford in the Subsidy Rolls of Surrey in 1332. William Croxford married Alice Dunckley on April 11th 1632, at Duston, Northamptonshire, while Nicholas Craxford married Katherin Breeden on January 30th 1639, at Thornton, Buckinghamshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Cracford, which was dated 1214, in the "Pipe Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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