This interesting and unusual surname, recorded in London church registers from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings Croot, Crut, Crouth, Crowthe etc., has two distinct possible origins. Firstly, the name may derive from the Medieval English "crouth" related to the Welsh "crwth" meaning "crowd" i.e. a bowed stringed instrument popular in medieval times, and originally given either as a metonymic occupational name to a maker of this instrument or as a nickname to a particularly good player on one.The second possibility is that the name derives from the Old French "croute", undressed leather, and originally given as a metonymic occupational name to a worker in leather or hide. On March 18th 1582, William Crouth, an infant, was christened in St. Mary Magdalene Milk Street, and on June 7th 1601, Ann Crowthe was christened in St. Martin in the Fields Westminster. Judithe Croote and Thomas Evans were married in St. Giles Cripplegate on December 10th 1615. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jone Croote, (marriage to John Lewys), which was dated September 9th 1540, St. Margaret's, Westminster, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff 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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