This interesting name of English origin is a dialectal variant of the locational name Crawshaw, from a place called Crawshaw-Booth in Lancashire. The derivation of this surname is from the Old English pre 7th Century "Crawa", a crow, with "sceaga" a grove, thus "Crowswood". The earliest recording of this placename is in the Lancashire Inquests of 1324 and appears as "Croweshagh". During the middle ages, it became increasingly common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work elsewhere, and they would often adopt or be given the name of the village or town as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. One Carter Crownshaw married John Phillips on the 23rd of April 1781 at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Crowschaugh, which was dated 1308, in Wakefield, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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