Recorded as Ryecroft, Roycroft, the very rare Roocroft and the dialectal Rowcroft, this is an English surname, which is also recorded as a 'settler' surname in County Cork, Ireland. It is residential and either describes a dweller at a farm which specialised in growing rye, or may have originated from the diminished medieval hamlet of Ryecroft, near the city of Leeds, in the county of West Yorkshire. The surname is first recorded in the 13th century, and the name development has included Richard de Ruycroft in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1325, John Ricroft in 1638 and William Ryecroft (1779), both in the surviving church registers of the city of London . In Ireland it is said that the name holders were firstly known as Adventurers. If so these were persons who subscribed a sum of money to equip an army to suppress the Irish Rising of 1641, and were rewarded with lands seized from owners in rebellion. Amongst the recorded examples is that of Christopher Rycroft who married Katherin Bricket on April 24th 1598 at St. Margarets, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Riecorft, which was dated circa 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls of Cambridge", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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 leadingto astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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