This interesting and uncommon surname is English. Although rare in most parts of the country it is found in several spellings including Scras, Scrace, Scrasse, Scrase, and Skrase in the church registers of the county of Sussex from the mid 16th Century; however its exact origins remain undetermined. The most likely source of the name is topographical, and describes a person who lived in, or more likely by, a hollow or cave. This is from the Old English pre 7th century word "scraef", meaning a cave or recess, and the high concentration of the surname in Sussex registers suggests that there may have been a place so called in this region.These early recordings taken from surviving church registers of the county include examples such as Thomas Scrace who married Jone Gillan at Ardingley, on July 10th 1558. This was in the first year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, (1558 - 1603), whilst others include Edmunde Skrace and Johanna Gat, who were married at the hamlet of Cowfold on January 15th 1565, and on January 6th 1592, Elizabeth, the daughter of John Scrase, was christened the village of Street. A coat of arms granted to the Scrace family of Sussex, has the blazon of a blue shield charged with a silver dolphin between three gold escallops, the sign of a pilgrim to the Holy Land. The crest is a falcon, standing on the stock of a tree. 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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