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33045

Croft

 

About the study

This study started, as probably a lot have, by trying to break down a brick wall in my own tree and then my husbands tree.

We took DNA tests and that's when it all started to come together. This project evolved from my lonely one woman search into one that stretched across the world and resulted in a group of relative strangers sitting in a restaurant in Kent for 5 hours. We are documenting our journey here Connecting Cousins

Through our combined work it became apparent that we were possibly all descended from a Croft, and in another meeting, this time in London, the study was born and is a real team effort.

 

Name origin

This is an English surname of pre 6th century origins.

The Croft surname emerged as that of a notable English family in the county of Yorkshire. The name largely originates from the English northern counties of Yorkshire, Cheshire and Lancashire. Hugo Croft held estates in 1162 and Croft Castle in Leicester as the seat of this family. During the 19th Century J.A.Croft held a family seat at Greenham House near Newbury in Berkshire.

It may be topographical for someone who lived by a "croft". This described a piece of enclosed land used for tillage or pasture.

It could also be locational as are several places in England called Croft. As an example Croft village in Leicestershire was recorded as "Craeft" in the Saxon Chartulary of 836 a.d.. The word "craeft" means a machine, such as a wind mill or water mill.

The surname is recorded in the 12th Century. Examples of recordings include:

  • Hugo de Croft - 1162
  • Richard de la Croft - 1230
  • William del Croft - 1288
  • Roger de Croft in the Curia Regis Rolls of Warwickshire in the year 1213.

Historical occurrences of the name

Croft Notables

  • William Croft - High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1424
  • Sir James Croft PC - died 1590
  • Herbert Croft - (1603-1691) - Bishop of Hereford, chaplain to King Charles I and dean of the chapels Royal to Charles II; and his son
  • Sir Herbert Croft - (ca. 1651-1720) - 1st Baronet
  • Sir Herbert Croft (1751-1816), writer and lexicographer, 5th Baronet
  • Sir Richard Croft (1762-1818), physician and Royal Obstetrician, 6th Baronet
  • William Croft - (1678-1727) - English Composer and organist
  • Sir Richard Croft - (abt 1429-1509) - Royal official for Kings Edward IV, Edward V, Richard III, and Henry VII
  • Thomas Croft - (c. 1435-1488) -  shipowner and patron of Atlantic exploration
  • Sir James Croft - (c.1518-1590) - Lord deputy of Ireland and leading conspirator in Wyatt's Rebellion
  • Sir Henry Page Croft - (1881-1947) - 1st Baron Croft, soldier and politician, Under-Secretary of State for War 1940-1945
  • Sir James Herbert Croft - (1907-1941) - died on active service with No 1 Commando
  • John William Croft - (1871-1913) - Australian Politician
  • Chancy Croft - (b.1937) - American Politician, Workers' Compensation attorney

Name frequency

Distribution in the UK in 1881

County County Popn. Actual No.
Lancashire 3,452,947 1,110
Yorkshire W.Riding 2,177,001 963
Lincolnshire 466,531 607
Middlesex 2,863,658 584
Surrey 1,437,217 312
Sussex 491,599 280
Yorkshire N.Riding 338,890 270
Kent 977,517 255
Cheshire 643,781 206
Hertfordshire 200,823 205
Co. Durham 866,681 201
Warwickshire 735,049 184
Yorkshire E.Riding 315,693 183
Staffordshire 983,523 167
Northamptonshire 274,296 135
York 57,257 108
Worcestershire 380,475 97
Bedfordshire 151,069 82
Nottinghamshire 393,248 82
Dorset 191,377 78
Essex 575,602 74
Devon 606,586 71
Suffolk 354,789 70
Shropshire 251,829 62
Cambridgeshire 184,693 51
Northumberland 434,014 48
Westmorland 64,099 45
Buckinghamshire 176,298 43
Somerset 468,639 42
Hampshire 524,534 41
Glamorgan 508,604 40
Herefordshire 119,421 36
Norfolk 448,100 31
Angus 268,865 31
Derbyshire 456,663 28
Gloucestershire 570,950 27
Montgomeryshire 66,867 24
Leicestershire 323,089 22
Lanarkshire 940,436 22
Berkshire 218,906 19
Monmouthshire 210,768 17
Oxfordshire 180,025 12
Flintshire 78,927 12
Rutland 21,417 10
Huntingdonshire 57,837 9
Pembrokeshire 92,738 9
Isle of Wight 73,595 8
Wiltshire 257,765 8
Radnorshire 23,524 8
Midlothian 390,188 7
Ayrshire 217,950 6
Aberdeenshire 269,390 5
City of London 51,501 4
Guernsey 31,575 4
Cornwall 330,295 3
Isle of Man 54,039 3
Merionethshire 53,359 3
Breconshire 58,289 2
Cumberland 250,710 1
Fifeshire 172,365 1
Stirlingshire 107,177 1
Caernarvonshire 117,872 1
Denbighshire 110,321 1

Distribution of the name

They emigrated to Canada, the United States, Australia and Europe from the United Kingdom.

 

American Settlers

Name Place Arrived / Settled Year
Hen Croft Virginia 1637
Jon Croft Virignia 1638
William Croft Lynn 1650
John Croft Virginia 1664
Herbert Croft Maryland 1665
Ann Croft Maryland 1669
George Croft Wickford 1674
Robert Croft Maryland 1679
John Croft aged 21 Barbados 1682
Thomas Croft of Hadley   1683
Eliza Croft Virginia 1702
David Croft South Carolina 1716
Edward Croft Virginia 1718
Mich. Croft South Carolina 1745
Michael Croft South Carolina 1745
Michll Croft South Carolina 1745
Catherine Croft South Carolina 1748
William Croft New Jersey 1768
Samuel Croft aged 23 New York 1812
Joseph Croft Allegany County, Pennsylvania 1818
William Croft Mobile, Ala 1822
Eric Croft New York 1847
Peter W Croft Mobile, Ala 1849
G Croft San Francisco, California 1851
F Croft Texas 1868
Thomas Croft Allegany County, Pennsylvania 1869

 

Canadian Settlers

Name Place Arrive / Settled Year
Kate Croft Saint John, New Brunswick 1907

 

Australian Settlers

Name Arrived Aboard Ship Year
Jane Croft Adelaide Eden 1838
Edward Croft Adelaide Branken Moor 1840
John Croft Adelaide Branken Moor 1840
Elizabeth Croft Adelaide Charles Kerr 1840

Mary Croft, a servant aged 18

South Australia Agincourt 1850

 

New Zealand Settlers

Name Arrived Aboard Ship Year
William Croft Auckland Jura 1861
Mary Croft Auckland Jura 1861
Harriet Croft Auckland Jura 1861
Thomas Croft Auckland Jura 1861
Peter Croft Auckland Alfred 1864