Recorded as Shallcross, Shalcross, Shawcross and Shawcroft, this is an English surname. It is locational either from a place called Shaw Cross, near the town of Batley, in the former West Riding of Yorkshire, or possibly from a "lost" medieval village now called Shallcross Hall, in the parish of Taxal, in the county of Derbyshire. However spelt the derivation is almost certainly from the pre 7th century Olde English word "sceaga" meaning a copse or wood, with "croft", which formerly described an arable pasture, one with an adjoining farm house. The name development over the centuries as recorded in the surviving church registers of the counties of Derbyshire and Yorkshire, and in the diocese of Greater London includes Katherine Shawcroft, christened at St. Lawrence Poultney, in the city of London on June 23rd 1583, Elyzabethe Scherecroist, christened at Hooton Pagnell in Yorkshire, on June 15th 1589, Antonius Shawcross, believed to be of Derbyshire, who married Alicia Eyre at Sheffield, Yorkshire, on January 23rd 1590, Jane Shawcroste, recorded at St. Michaels church, Wood Street in the city of London on April 1st 1602, whilst twins Elizabeth and Mary Shawcroft were christened at Hoyland Church, Yorkshire on June 10th 1847. One of the earliest known recordings was that of James Shalcrosse. He was recorded in the register of Oxford University as being a student there in 1537. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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