This most interesting and unusual name is a rare variant of 'Chalcroft', which is either of locational origin from 'Chalcroft' in South Stoneham, Hampshire, or is a topographical name for a 'dweller by the calves croft'. The component elements, in both instances, are the Anglo-Saxon words 'cealf', calf and 'croft', a croft, i.e., a small enclosed plot of land, adjoining a house and worked by the family. The surname itself first appeared in records in the late 13th Century (see below). During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job seeking was becoming very common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification.Topographical names provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. One John de Chalfcroft appeared in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296, while the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk mention one Robert de Chalvecrofth in 1327. One John Shalcrofs was christened in Flixton, Lancashire on May 5th 1575, while Marie Shalcroft was christened at Mobberly in September 1616. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Chalvecroft, which was dated 1272, in the Assize Court Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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