Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Category: 3 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is well under way on a global basis.
DNA website: www.familytreedna.com/groups/crosskill/about
Contact: Mr Stuart Crosskill
I first became interested in my family history as a young lad (many years ago) when my great aunt Elsie told me that I had an ancestor who was a printer who had helped to set up the first Cooperative movement in Rochdale. Another distant relative was an inventor who had invented something called a Clod Crusher and also something to do with railway wheels. Imagine my delight when a school friend brought in a clipping from an agricultural journal showing a strange device called Crosskill’s patent clod-crushing roller that had been awarded a Gold Medal and thirty sovereigns by the Royal Agricultural Society in the mid 1800’s.
As a schoolboy growing up in a remote part of Lincolnshire in the 60’s, opportunities for family history research were limited, but when I went to university, I was able to raid libraries to search out more info., and I spent many hours reading Patent Specifications when I should have been working on my studies.
As is often the case with family traditions, they are not always 100% correct, but there is often more than a grain of truth in them as I have discovered over the last 50+ years.
Various sources give the following explanation for the origin of the surname. “This is a locational name which derives from a now "lost" medieval place called "Crossgill" believed to have been in North Lancashire. The origin is Olde English pre 7th Century "Cros-Gyll". The translation being the cross by the stream or (possibly) small valley"”
In 1881 according to Archer’s Surname Atlas, there were 58 Crosskill’s, 13 Croskill’s, 6 Crosskell’s and 34 Croskell’s in England, Wales and Scotland, distributed mainly on the East coast between Yorkshire and Norfolk , although I know that a few in Lancashire were missed.
According to an ONS database as of September 2002 there were some 75 in England and Wales. This made it the 39,660th most common name.
According to the Forebears.co.uk website, in 2014 approximately 163 people had the surname worldwide which ranks it the 1,351,951st most common surname in the world. It is most prevalent in England (76), but has the highest density in Jamaica (12) with significant numbers in Canada (31), USA (29), Australia (8), South Africa (2) and Switzerland (2).
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