This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place called Shackelcross, named after an ancient stone cross in the High Peak forest of Derbyshire, in the parish of Chapel en le Frith. The placename itself appears to derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century "sceacol", Middle English "schackel", chain, bond and "cros", the Olde English word for cross, from the Old Norse "kross". Hence, the placename denotes a cross to which penitents could be fettered. There is also a place called Shallcross Hall, near Buston in Derbyshire. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname is also found in the modern idiom as Shellcross, Shawcross, Shallcrass, Shalcras and Shalcros. Matilda de Shalcros was recorded in 1348 in Derbyshire, and James Shalcrosse appears in the Register of the University of Oxford in 1537. Elizabeth Shallcrose married Richard Tysse on September 10th 1558, at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, London, while Anna Shallcross was christened on October 27th 1721 at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London. John Shalcross, High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1686 was granted a Coat of Arms depicting a gold saltire, between four gold annulets on a red shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Benedict de Shakelcros, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Derbyshire", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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