This very unusual and interesting name is one of the variant forms of the more familiar surname "cran(k)shaw", which is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and a locational name deriving from the place now called "Cranshaw" in Lancashire, also known as "Cronkshaw", and recorded in 1507 in "Placenames of Lancashire" as "Cronkshay". The name means "the grove of the cranes", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "cran(uc)", crane, with "sceaga", grove, thicket. Locational surnames were usually acquired by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Cranshaw, Cranshaw, Cron(k)shaw, Crenshaw, Cronchey and Cronshey. One William Cronchey was christened on July 14th 1789 at St. James' Bury, St. Edmunds, Suffolk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Crounkeshawe, which was dated 1412, The Chartulary of Whalley Abbey, Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry 1V, "Henry of Bolingbroke", 1399 - 1413. 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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