Raecroft - what does Raecroft surname mean?

This is an English topographical name for a `dweller at a farm which specialised in growing rye`. The derivation is from `ryge` plus `croft`, the name also applying to the hamlet of Ryecroft, near Leeds in West Yorkshire. The surname is first recorded in the 13th Century, and the name development has included; de Ruycroft (1325), Ricroft (1638) and Ryecroft (1779). The name is well known in Co.Cork. The original name holders being known as `Adventurers` - who were persons who subscribed a sum of money to equip an army to suppress the Irish Rising of 1641, on the security of lands to be seized from the existing land owners in rebellion. The name spelling in Cork is Roycroft, Raycroft and Raecroft. Amongst the recorded examples is one Christopher Rycroft who married Katherin Bricket on April 24th 1598 at St. Margarets, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Riecorft, which was dated circa 1230, in the `Pipe Rolls of Cambridge`, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as `The Frenchman`, 1216 - 1272. 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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