This is an English locational surname from a village and hamlet of the same name near Dewsbury in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The origin is from the Olde English pre 7th century or possibly Olde Scandanavian "hafra" meaning oats, plus "croft", an area of land enclosed for agriculture, the modern "field". The village is first recorded in the year 1191 in the spelling of "Hauerecroft". Locational surnames were usually given either the lords of the manor or to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere, it being the one of the easiest ways of identifying a stranger, being to call him or her by the name of the place from whence they came. "Elsewhere" could be the next village, or it might be as far away as London, the goal for many dispossed people, and the only city in the land with a population exceeding 100,000. However that did not happen in this case, as the name is not recorded in London before the year 1796. Early examples of the name recording taken from authentic surviving church registers in Yorkshire include Elizabeth Havercroft, who married John Clarke at Whitgift, Yorkshire, on May 17th 1594, and Willam Havercroft, who married Elizabeth Thornton, at Stainton in Cleveland, on February 3rd 1613. The first known example of the surname may be that of Xroferus Havercroft, a witness at Whitgift church, West Riding of Yorkshire, on April 16th 1594, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 1558 - 1603.
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