Recorded in several spellings including Alcroft, Allcroft, Holcraft, Holcroft, Holdcroft, Houldcroft and others, this is an English surname. It is topographical or possibly locational and has two possible meanings. Firstly it may originate from the pre 7th century words "eald", meaning old, and "croft", a small farm, " The dweller at the old small farm, or from a similar description of "alor", meaning the alder tree, and "cote", a cottage and hence, "The dweller at the farm amongst the Alder trees". Topographical surnames, such as this, 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 development over the centuries contains examples such as Johannes de Holcroft in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379, Margrett Alcroft, who married Samuel Woodrobe at the church of St. Christopher le Stocks, city of London, on December 26th 1650, in the "reign" of Oliver Cromwell, and Thomas Houldcroft who married Isabella Horton at St Annes Soho, Westminster, on January 4th 1826. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Aldecote, which was dated 1277, in the "Pipe Rolls of Worcestershire", 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017