Recorded in many spelling forms including Rycroft, Rycraft, Rucroft, and Rhucroft, this is an English surname. It is either topographical for a dweller at a farm which specialised in growing rye, from the Olde English pre 7th century "ryge-croft", or it is locational from the hamlet of Ryecroft, near Leeds, in West Yorkshire. The surname is first recorded in the 13th century, and the name development has included de Ruycroft in 1325, Ricroft in 1638, and Ryecroft in 1779. The surname is also well known in County Cork, Ireland, the original name holders being known as "Adventurers".These were people who in return for subscribing money to equip an army to suppress the Irish rising of 1641, were granted lands seized from the existing land owners in rebellion. The name spelling in Cork is Roycroft, Raycroft and Raecroft. Amongst the recorded examples is that of Christopher Rycroft, who married Katherin Bricket on April 24th 1598 at St. Margarets, Westminster, whilst Robert Rhucroft was recorded at Hipswell, near Richmond, in North Yorkshire, on October 20th 1865. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Riecorft. This was dated 1230, in the Pipe Rolls of Cambridge, during the reign of King Henry IIIrd of England, 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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