This is a most interesting surname of Olde English pre 7th century origins. It is residential and describes either a cave dweller, or perhaps more probably in most parts of England, somebody who lived in a hollow or narrow valley. Unfortunately we have not been able to determine whether an actual village as 'Scrase' or similar ever existed, but the surname is relatively popular in Sussex, and the Brighton area seems to be the epi-centre of recordings. The hamlet of 'Scrafton' in Yorkshire has a similar origin, in that it is derived from the elements 'scraef' and 'tun', a farmstead or house, and is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book. However whilst the surname of Scrafton is recorded in York at least as early as 1591, when Urseley Skraffton was christened there on January 18th, the surname as 'Scrase' is not recorded at all. Locational surnames were usually given to people after they moved from their original homes, as an easy method of identification. In the case of 'Scrase' they do not seem to have moved far, suggesting that the original village was simply abandoned for natural causes. Early examples of the surname recordings include Thomasine Scrase, who married William Holbeach at Wilmington, Sussex, on September 22nd 1561, and Wyllem Scrace who married Ann Payn at Hurstpierpoint on February 8th 1576. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Scrase, which was dated July 10th 1558, married Jane Gill at Ardingley, Sussex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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