This interesting name is of English origin and is topographical for 'a dweller at the haycroft'. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'heg', meaning hay, plus 'croft', a small farm. There is also a possibility that this is a habitational name from a so called 'lost' village, a phenomenon resulting from enforced land clearance to make way for sheep pasture, during the rise in the wool industry in the Middle Ages. Two early recordings of marriages in London are of one Frances Haycraft and James Ryces on 11th February 1628 at St. Mary's, Aldermary, and of one Thomas Haycraft and Mary Owen on December 1667 at St. James, Dukes Place. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de la Heycroft, which was dated 1279 in the Hundred Rolls of Oxford, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 -1307. 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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