This unusual surname is medieval Scottish and from the Kincardinshire region, although of French ancestry. Recorded in a number of spellings including Croal, Croall, Crole and Croll, it is believed to be originally from the village of Crieul, near Eu, in the department of Seine-Inferieur. According to the famous etymologist the late G F Black, a place called Croll did exist in Dumfriesshire, South-West Scotland, but if so there is no evidence that the surname came from there. It is perhaps surprising that given the long history of this surname, it is not better known, because it was one of the first of all surnames to be registered in Scotland. Bertram de Criolle, the first nameholder as shown below, was clearly a person with some considerable powers. In 1252 he witnessed a land grant to Robert de Brus, who was probably the grandfather of the later famous king Robert, The Bruce (1274 - 1329).. Early recordings include Alexander Criole, who was probably a "farmer", i.e. a tax collector. He sent an account of land leases in Fethircarne to the Scottish exchequer in 1559, whilst Andrew Croill, was a parishoner of Kettrick, Brechin, in the year 1614. The first known recording of the surname is believed to be that of Bertram de Criolle, who witnessed a land grant to the Norman peer Roger de Mumbray (of Yorkshire), in the year 1251. This was during the reign of King Alexander111 of Scotland, 1249 - 1286.
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