This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place thus called north west of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "north", north, and "cross", cross. The latter element in this instance may refer to a stone cross set up by the roadside, around which a settlement grew up, or perhaps a cross in a market place. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname, under the variant spellings Norcrosse, Norcras and Nordcross, is particularly well recorded in English church and wills records from the late 16th Century (see below). On July 25th 1627 William Norcross and Jane Banks were married in Ribchester, Lancashire, and in 1662, George Norcross, of Hothersale, was noted in the Lancashire Wills Records at Richmond. John, son of Thomas Norcross, was christened in St. John the Baptist's, Chester, Cheshire, on February 26th 1687. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Norcrosse, which was dated October 10th 1574, christened at St. Martin Ludgate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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