This most interesting surname is of Old Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place so called in Lancashire, near Chorley, which was recorded as "Croston" in 1094 and again in 1190 in the Lancashire Charters. The placename is composed of the Old Norse "kross", Middle English "cross", a cross, in this case a market cross, and the Olde English pre 7th Century "tun", enclosure, settlement, hence, the settlement by the cross. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name, in a number of different spellings. Early examples of the surname from Lancashire Church Registers include the christening of John Croston on January 26th 1544, at Croston; the marriage of Catherine Croston and William Tonson, at Croston on August 19th 1548; and the marriage of Ales Croston and Roger Collinge, on August 20th 1550, at Chorley. Thomas Croston (1603 - 1663) was a colonel in the parliamentarian army in 1650, and also militia commissioner for Chester. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Croston, which was dated January 14th 1542, marriage to Catherine Smith, at Croston, Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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