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About the study
I believe Wheatcroft and its variants to be a locational surname, which derives from the village of that name in North Derbyshire near Crich or the medieval hamlet near Cullompton, Devon.
'Croft' being land given over to cultivation and 'Wheat' possibly derived from White, Whitecroft meaning the settlement on good lands.
My own Derbyshire Wheatcrofts I have conclusively researched back to 1700 in South Wingfield.
Wheatcroft became Whitcraft and subsequently Whitcroft when my ancestors moved from South Wingfield at the begining of the 19th century to take up residence in Ansley, Leicester, Bedworth and Aston.
Their occupations varied from miners to policemen, shop owners to publicans, many were very well known local sportsmen.
History of the name
Early records of the name and its variants include Adam de Whetecroft 1191 Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire. Semen de Wetecroft 1273 Hundred Rolls of Suffolk. Robert de Wetecroft 1273 Hundred Rolls of Lincoln. Richard de Whatecrofth 1327 Subsidy Rolls Suffolk. Ranulph de Wetecroft, Galfridus de Wetecroft and Walter de Wetecroft Crich taxes 1327. There were Wheatcrofts at Baslow in the 15th century and also in North Wingfield, Stretton, Brampton, and Ashover. Leonard Wheatcroft of Ashover was a very colourful character of his day, a yeoman, writer and poet. His manuscripts printed and published by the Derbyshire Archaeological Journal are deposited at the County Record Office in Matlock.
Famous 20th century Wheatcrofts include Tom Wheatcroft (motor racing) and Harry Wheatcroft( champion rose grower) 1898-1977
Distribution of the name
UK Census 1841-1901
Civil Registration entries from indexes births, marriages and deaths.
Surname distribution US and UK
Some Derbyshire Wills
Some Derbyshire Family Trees
Derbyshire Parish records
Some Photographs, MIs, Newspaper articles, directories, military records, mostly Derbyshire and Warwickshire