Crofter History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Crofter is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having 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 Crofter family

The surname Crofter 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 Crofter family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crofter 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 Crofter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crofter Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Crofter family name include Croft, Crofte, Crofts and others.

Early Notables of the Crofter 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 Crofter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Crofter family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Crofter surname or a spelling variation of the name include: William Croft who settled in Lynn, in 1650. Thomas Croft of Hadley settled there in 1683. George Croft settled in Wickford in 1674. The widow of Thomas Croft in 1704 married an Indian named Samuel Crofoot..



The Crofter 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.


  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)


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