The name Crawcester is of Anglo-Saxon
origin and came from when the family lived in the village of Craster, a fishing village located on the coast of the North Sea, northeast of Alnwick.
Early Origins of the Crawcester family
The surname Crawcester was first found in Northumberland
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor at ancient Craucestre a barony outside Alnwick in that shire. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy
, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron
, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England
to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. The Domesday Book
did not include the county of Northumberland
. King William the Conqueror believed he had laid Northumberland
waste in 1069. We are therefore unable to distinguish the Norman Baron
who held Craucestre, with certainty but we do know that Alnwick was held by Baron
John of Alnwick and may be the ancestor of the Craster surname. John had married Beatrice, daughter of Ivo de Visci and acquired Alnwick.
Early History of the Crawcester family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crawcester research.Another 213 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1242 and 1299 are included under the topic Early Crawcester History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Crawcester Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon
surnames like Crawcester are characterized by many spelling variations
. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Crawcester include: Craster, Crawcester, Craucestre, Craucester, Crawster and many more.
Early Notables of the Crawcester family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Crawcester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Crawcester family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Crawcester or a variant listed above: William Craster settled in Virginia in 1716.