This interesting surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and has a number of interpretations, all deriving from the Old Norse "kross", cross, which in Middle English quickly and comprehensively displaced the Olde English pre 7th Century form "cruc". Firstly, it may have been a topographical name for someone who lived near a stone cross set up by the roadside or in a market place. In a few instances the surname may have been given originally to someone who lived by a crossroads, but this sense of the word seems to have been a comparatively late development. Finally, in other cases the surname may have denoted one who carried the cross in processions of the Christian Church. In the modern idiom, variants of the surname include Crosse, Cros, Crossey, Crossan and Crossman. Early examples of the name include Richard del Crosse, recorded in 1285 in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire; William atte Cros, mentioned in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1327; and Robert Cros, noted in 1354, in the Court Rolls of the Barony of Colchester. John Cross, aged 18 yrs., was convicted of being a Monmouth rebel and was transported to the Barbadoes in 1685. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Humfrey de Cruce, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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