Croft History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Croft dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in the area that was typically referred to as the croft. This was an area of arable land that was located at or near the farmers cottage. [1] The name originates largely from the northern counties of Yorkshire, Cheshire, and Lancashire,

Early Origins of the Croft family

The surname Croft was first found in Yarpole, Herefordshire at Croft Castle. This site was home to the family since the 11th century.

Croft can also be found as parishes in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire. In the latter, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Johannes del Croft; Willelmus del Croft; and Ricardus de Crofte as all holding lands there at that time. [2]

Over in Somerset, Walter in the Crofte was listed 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [3]

Further to the north, "there are small places of this name in Scotland. Thomas Crofts and David Crofts held land under the Abbey of Aberbrothoc, 1485. Thomas Croftis appears again in 1524." [4]

Early History of the Croft family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Croft research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1162, 1485, 1658, 1677, 1424, 1590, 1590, 1667, 1624, 1660, 1653, 1656, 1593, 1657, 1624, 1611, 1611, 1677, 1603, 1691, 1651, 1720, 1678 and 1727 are included under the topic Early Croft History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Croft Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Croft have been found, including Croft, Crofte, Crofts and others.

Early Notables of the Croft family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Croft, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1424; Sir James Croft PC (d. 1590), Lord Deputy of Ireland; Sir Henry Crofts (1590-1667), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1624 and 1660; John Crofts, an English politician, Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire in 1653 and later in 1656; Anthony Crofts...
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Croft Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Croft migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Croft, or a variant listed above:

Croft Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hen Croft, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [5]
  • Jon Croft, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [5]
  • William Croft who settled in Lynn, in 1650
  • John Croft, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [5]
  • Herbert Croft, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Croft Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Croft, who arrived in Virginia in 1702 [5]
  • David Croft, who arrived in South Carolina in 1716 [5]
  • Edward Croft, who arrived in Virginia in 1718 [5]
  • Mich. Croft, who arrived in South Carolina in 1745 [5]
  • Michael Croft, who landed in South Carolina in 1745 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Croft Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Croft, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1812 [5]
  • Joseph Croft, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1818 [5]
  • William Croft, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [5]
  • Eric Croft, who landed in New York in 1847 [5]
  • Peter W Croft, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1849 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Croft migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Croft Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Kate Croft, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Croft migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Croft Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Croft, British convict who was convicted in Shropshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, the settlement was listed as abandoned and most of the convicts transported to Tasmania on the "Queen" in 1804 [6]
  • Jane Croft, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eden" in 1838 [7]
  • Edward Croft, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Branken Moor" in 1840 [8]
  • John Croft, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Branken Moor" in 1840 [8]
  • Elizabeth Croft, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Charles Kerr" in 1840 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Croft migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Croft Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Croft, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jura" in 1861
  • Mary Croft, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jura" in 1861
  • Harriett Croft, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jura" in 1861
  • Thomas Croft, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jura" in 1861
  • Mrs. Mary Croft, (b. 1830), aged 33, English settler, from Bedfordshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st May 1863 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Croft (post 1700) +

  • William Croft (b. 1956), American professor of linguistics at the University of New Mexico, United States
  • Robert Croft, American US Navy diving instructor, the first person to free-dive beyond the depth of 200 feet in 1967
  • Richard Croft, American opera singer, Professor of Voice at the University of North Texas College of Music since 2004
  • Leland Reynolds "Lee" Croft (1898-1984), American NFL guard who played one game for the Racine Legion in 1924
  • Eric Chancy Croft (b. 1964), American lawyer and politician, Member of the Anchorage Assembly, son of Leland Chancy Croft
  • Douglas Croft (1926-1963), born Douglas Malcom Wheatcroft, an American child actor, best known for as the first actor to portray the character Dick Grayson/Robin, the Boy Wonder in the 1943 serial Batman
  • Leland Chancy Croft (b. 1937), American politician, Member of the University of Alaska Board of Regents (1995-2003), Chair of the University of Alaska Board of Regents (2001-2002)
  • Mary Jane Croft (1916-1999), American actress, best known for her role as Betty Ramsey on I Love Lucy and as Clara Randolph on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
  • George Croft (1747-1809), English divine, born at Beamsley, a hamlet in the chapelry of Bolton Abbey, in the parish of Skipton, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, second son of Samuel Croft [11]
  • Sydney James Croft (1883-1965), English cricketer who played for Kent County Cricket Club
  • ... (Another 33 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. John Wilfred  Croft (1879-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [12]


The Croft Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Esse quam videri
Motto Translation: To be, rather than to seem.


Suggested Readings for the name Croft +

  • 2571 James Croft, His Antecedants [sic] and Descendants" by Carol Daun Croft, "A Southern Legacy: The House of Croft" by Robert William Croft.

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) EDEN 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Eden.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BRANKEN MOOR 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840BrankenMoor.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CHARLES KERR 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840CharlesKerr.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  12. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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