This interesting name has two sources of origin. Firstly, it could be a topographical surname from the Middle English "mead" for pasture or meadow and "Croft", a small farm, thus a "dweller at the meadow farm". However, there is a possibility that it is a dialectual variant of the name Metcalfe, a name found chiefly in Yorkshire and deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "mete", food or meat plus "Cealf", a calf, "hence a fattened calf", an occupational name for a herdsman or a nickname for a "plump and sleek individual" i.e. meaning well groomed. One John Medcraft married Elinor Joyner in 1666 at Churchill, Oxfordshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Medecroft, which was dated 1313, Eynsham Cartulary, Oxford, during the reign of King Edward II, Edward of Caernafon, 1307 - 1327. 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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