This picturesque and intriguing name is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of Thornycroft, a locational name from a place so called in the parish of Prestbury in East Cheshire. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'thorn', a thorn bush, and 'croft', a small piece of enclosed land. 'Richard, lord of Siddington, confirms and quit claims to Richard, the son of Hamo de Thornicroft, all his rights, etc., in certain lands and tenements in a certain place called Thornicroft, in Sydyngton, etc., '(Writs of Parliament History of Durham)'.Amongst the sample recordings in London are the christenings of Abigall Thornecroft on December 18th 1622 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, George Thorndycraft on July 4th 1835 at Old Church, St. Pancras, and Henry Samual Thorndycraft on July 21st 1869 at St. John the Baptist's, Shoreditch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Thornicroft, which was dated 1361, Earwakers, East Cheshire, during the reign of King Edward 111, 'The Father of the Navy', 1327-1377. 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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