This unusual surname is of medieval French origin, and is either a topographical name from residence by a pit or hollow, deriving from the Old French "creus(e)", concave, hollow; or a locational name from any of the various places named with this word, for example, Creusot Saone-et-Loire) and Creuzeval (Rhone). Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided obvious and convenient means of identification in the small communities of the Middle Ages; locational names were originally given to local landowners, the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Forms of the name with the preposition "de" are more usual in the west of France, and include De Cruce, De Cruz(e), Decruse, Decreuze and D'Cruze. On July 17th 1687, John De Cruce and Dinah Scott were married at St. Katherine by the Tower, London, and on November 26th 1784, one Mary DeCruz was recorded in the Registers of St. Sepulchre, London. On May 5th 1819, Laurent Felix, son of Pierre Decreuze and Elizabeth Legay, was christened at Luneville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Crues, which was dated 1214, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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