This is a locational surname which derives from either the village of Wheatcroft in Derbyshire near Crich, or from (at least) two 'lost' medieval hamlets, one of which is known to have been in Devon. This is partially recalled by Wheatcroft Farm, near Cullompton, which is believed to occupy the original site. The origin is Olde English pre 7th century, the translation being 'the settlement where wheat is grown', wheat being a relatively rare crop in those days, at least sufficiently so to enable a place to be so named. It has also been suggested that 'Wheatcroft' (the surname) may derive from 'Whitecroft', again Olde English, the meaning then being 'the settlement on the good lands' and this is possible, but not proven. Recordings of the name commence in the 12th century, making it one of the earliest on the register. These recordings include Seman de Wetecroft of Suffolk in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Suffolk, and Robert de Wetecroft of Lincoln in the same year. In 1327 Richard de Whatecrofth is recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk, whilst in 1339 one Thomas de Whatecroft is recorded as being the son of Adam de Whetecroft, in the Assize Rolls of Stafford. It is to be hoped that the justice was better than the spelling! The Coat of Arms is from Suffolk, and has the blazon of a black field, a bend raguly between two golden orbs. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Wetecroft, which was dated 1191, The Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as 'The Lionheart', 1189 - 1199. 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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