This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a topographical surname denoting residence by a small holding where rye was grown, "by the rye croft". The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "ryge", rye and "croft", croft an arable enclosure. There are a number of small places called "Ryecroft", mostly in Yorkshire, so the modern surname may also be locational in origin, from any of the places so called, named with the elements as above. The name development includes Richard de Ruycroft (1325, Staffordshire), Margareta de Rycroft (1379, Yorkshire), and Richard Ricroft (1638, Cheshire).The modern surname can be found as Rycroft, Rycraft, Roycroft and Roycraft. One Anne Rycroft married John Riddocke on April 27th 1660 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Riecroft, which was dated 1230, The Cambridgeshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 111, "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 leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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