This unusual locational surname is apparently of Rhineland-Flanders origin, the "modern" 18th Century spelling being an English form. It derives from the Germanic Crefeld, Crefelt, or Crefeldt surnames, themselves derivatives of the original "Kreide-Feldt", and describing one who was resident at an area of chalk land. The name may have Huguenot associations, although this is not proven; the earliest recordings suggest that the name was probably deliberately changed to camouflage the place of origin. What is reasonably certain is that the original nameholder, shown below, seems to be responsible for most, if not all the later namebearers. His children were Ralph, christened on May 29th 1712, but he may have died, because another Ralph was christened at the same church on June 12th 1713. Later, a daughter, Elizabeth, was christened on September 22nd 1714, and yet another daughter, Elizabeth, on November 1st 1715, and Hannah on April 26th 1717. The name spelling varies between Creffeild, Crefield, and Creffield until the 19th Century, when Thomas Creffield married Elizabeth Lee, on November 28th 1828, at St. Botolph's, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Creffeild, which was dated May 29th 1712, a witness at the Church of St. Lawrence Pountney, London, during the reign of Queen Anne, known as "The Last Stuart Monarch", 1602 - 1614. 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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