Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Crosco, Croscomb, Croscombe and Crosscombe, this is an English locational surname. It originates from a place called 'Cros-cum' or similar, in the West Country and probably the county of Devonshire, where the name is most prominently recorded. Some 8% of all British surnames originate from 'lost' medieval villages, of which the only public reminder in the 20th century of its former existence, is the surviving surname in its varied forms. The name means 'the valley (cum) of the cross', or which is possibly a reminder of a place which had an pagan stone cross, or a place where two valleys met. Devonshire being a county of valleys, the logical explanation would seem to be the second. 'Lost' villages usually resulted from either a change in farming practice, either by enclosure of the common lands, or more often the introduction of sheep which required less manpower, or sometimes from the simple fact that the village was worn out. In either case the inhabitants had no choice but to move elsewhere. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from authentic surviving Devonshire church registers include: James Croscomb of Georgeham, on November 28th 1568, Philip Croscomb of Braunton, on Boxing Day, 1578, and Phillip Crosscombe, at the church of St James, the Apostle, Exeter, on November 11th 1783.
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