Recorded in a number of spellings including Crat, Crate, Crates, Crater, Cratere, Crateman, Krate and Krates, this is a surname of pre 7th century Germanic origins. It is or rather was, occupational, and in medieval times described a maker or merchant of wooden crates and baskets. Deriving from the word "kreit" it originally described a crate specifically designed to carry precious and fragile commodities including crockery, glass or fruit. The earliest forms of the word "creat" and "crade" were introduced into England with imports of goods from The Netherlands, where the language is a variant of Low German.Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers include Hieronymus Crateman who married Anna Liseb Sandtas on February 26th 1663 at Gohfeld, Westphalen, Germany, whilst on September 16th 1701 Mary Crates married David Givert at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney and Abraham Crate was christened on February 27th 1708 in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name in England is probably that of Mary Cratte who was christened at St. Martin-Vintry, in the city of London, in 1620, during the reign of King James 1st of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 -1625. 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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