This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either of two places called Crossley in West Yorkshire. The places are named with the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "cros", cross, and "leah", meadow or glade, clearing in a wood, which in Middle English became "Crosslee", meaning "the cross in the glade or meadow". The modern surname, found as Crossley and Crosley, is still found predominantly in Yorkshire and the northern counties, and has long been associated with the town of Halifax. Sir Francis Crossley (1817 - 1872), the carpet manufacturer, and Mayor, then M. P. for Halifax, was also a philanthropist who, for the people of the town, erected almshouses, built an orphan school and presented a park, between 1852 and 1860. A Coat of Arms granted to the Crossley family of Scaitcliffe, Lancashire, is divided per chevron gold and green, in chief a cross tau between two red crosses moline fitchee, in base a silver hind troppant charged upon the shoulder with a cross tau of the third. A silver hind's head couped holding in the mouth a cross moline fitchee, and charged upon the breast with a red cross tau is on the Crest. The Motto, "Credo et amo", translates as, "I believe and love". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes de Crosselay, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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