This interesting surname is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps of Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and "dispersal" of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The original place is believed to have been in Northumberland, composed of the Old Norse "kringla" meaning "a circle" plus the Old English pre 7th Century "leah" meaning "wood or clearing". The surname dates back to the mid 17th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Mark Crinkley who married Dorothy Fletcher on February 1662 at Rothbury, Northumberland, William, son of Thomas and Isabell Crankley, was christened on April 24th 1692, in Elsdon, Northumberland, and Euphermia Crinkley married George Goodeve on November 11th 1804, at St. Mary Woolnoth, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Crinkley witnessed the christening of his son John, which was dated 1658, Norham, Northumberland, during the reign of Commonwealth, 1649 - 1660. 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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