This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a locational name from the parish of Sandcroft or St. Cross in South Elmham, East Suffolk. Sandcroft is one of six adjacent parishes, the others being All Saints and St. Nicholas, St. James, St. Margaret, St. Michael and St. Peter. Elmham St. Cross was recorded as "Sancroft" in the "Valuation of Norwich", dated 1254, and as "Sandcroft" in the "Index to the Charter and Rolls in the British Museum", dated 1391; however, the first recording of the surname (see below) suggests that the interchange of "Sandcroft" for "St. Cross" occurred at a still earlier date. Dedications of churches to St. Cross are not to a saint, but to the Holy Cross, or more specifically Christ in the Cross, the object most closely associated with his redemptive death. The fine poem, "The Dream of the Rood", shows the Anglo-Saxon veneration of the Cross. In 1450, the birth of one Robert Sandcroft was recorded in Fressingfield, Suffolk, and on June 3rd 1547, Jone, daughter of George Sandcraft, was christened at Wingfield, also in Suffolk. In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt Sancroft, Sancraft, Sandcroft and Sandcraft. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with three doves of the same colour on a red chevron between three red crosses formee. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Sandecroft, which was dated 1200, in the "Feet of Fines of Suffolk", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 -1216. 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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