This interesting surname is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and is a topographical name from either of two sources. Firstly, the surname may derive from the Old French "creus(e)", a hollow, and would have been given to someone who lived by a hollow in the ground. In some instances the surname would be given to someone who lived by a stone cross set up by the roadside or in a market place, deriving from the Old French "croix", cross (Latin "crux"). In a few cases 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. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). William atte Cros is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk (1327). Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Jonas Crux and Mary Allen on January 4th 1612 at Preston by Faversham, Kent; the marriage of Mary Crux and Christopher Wagstaffe on May 9th 1612 at Canterbury, Kent; and the marriage of Jervace Crux and Katherine Heron on November 20th 1613 in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard del Crosse, which was dated 1285, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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