This unusual name is not apparently recorded before the 18th Century, and even then records are fairly sparse. It is believed to be a delictual variant of the Kent-Sussex surname "Critcher", a medieval descriptive term for one who lived by a cross. It derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "Cruc" and the middle English "Crouch". The recordings were originally all from the London area and in consequence it is presumed that the variation from "Critcher" to "Critchard" was delictual. Normally the use of "ard" as a suffix indicates a diminutive i.e. "Little Critch" or "Son of Critch", although such forms are usually medieval. Examples of the name include Thomas Crichard of London Wall (1754) and Henry Critchard, christened at St. Mary's Church, Whitechapel, London in 1765. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Crichard, which was dated April 8th 1739, christening witness at St. Luke's Church, Finsbury, during the reign of King George 11, "The Last Soldier", 1727 - 1760. 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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