Recorded as Williscroft and Williscrofft, this is a rare English surname. It is locational and may originate from the hamlet of Willitoft, near the town of Howden, in East Yorkshire, or from some some now "lost" medieval site, of which the only memory in the 20th century, is the surname itself. The translation of the name would seem to be "Wifel's croft", from the Olde English pre 7th century personal name Wifel, although it is is also possible that the derivation is from "wiell" meaning a spring, to give "Spring farm". Locational surnames are often "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homestead in search of work. One of the easiest methods to identify a stranger was to call him and sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. In this case we have some very early surname recordings in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London from the time of the infamous King Henry V111th (1510 - 1547) These include the christening of Thomas, the son of William Williscroft at the church of St Lawrence Pountney, on January 28th 1539, and again in 1541, the christening of a second son called John, at the same church on February 27th of that year.
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