This unusual name is Scottish, and is one of the old names of Orkney, derived from the lands of Halcro in South Ronaldsay, which were themselves named from Halcro in the parish of Bower, in Caithness. There is an old tradition within the family and on record since the 17th century that they are descended from a natural son of King Sverrir of Norway (1186 - 1202). The "L" of the modern name is an interpolation showing that the preceding vowel is long; the early forms are found as Hacre (1528), and Hawcro (1548). Sir Nycoll Haucro or Halkraye was parson of Orpher in 1534 and 1539, and Hew Halcro of that Ilk is mentioned in 1640. The modern surname can be found as Halcre, Halcrow and Halcrowe. One, John Halcro married Sarah Wife on December 11th 1698 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David Haucrow of Qwybrown, Ronaldsay which was dated 1492, Records of the Earldon of Orkney, during the reign of King James IV of Scotland, 1488 - 1513. 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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