Crofts History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Crofts comes from when the family resided 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 Crofts family

The surname Crofts 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 Crofts family

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

Crofts Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Crofts has been recorded under many different variations, including Croft, Crofte, Crofts and others.

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

Crofts Ranking

In the United States, the name Crofts is the 16,211st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

United States Crofts migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Crofts or a variant listed above:

Crofts Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ann Crofts, aged 16, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • Miss Ann Croft's, (b. 1619), aged 16, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Safety" arriving in Virginia in 1635 [7]
  • Anne Crofts, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [6]
  • Ja Crofts, who landed in Virginia in 1654 [6]
  • Nathaniel Crofts, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Crofts Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Crofts, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [6]
  • Edward Crofts, who arrived in America in 1765 [6]
Crofts Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Crofts, aged 27, who landed in New York in 1808 [6]
  • William Crofts, who arrived in Indiana in 1852 [6]
Crofts Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Miss Ada Crofts, (b. 1875), aged 30, Cornish ladysmaid travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to Hanover, Michigan, USA [8]

Canada Crofts migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Crofts Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mary Crofts, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Samuel Crofts, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Crofts migration to Australia +

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

Crofts Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Crofts, (b. 1803), aged 30, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, London, England for life, transported aboard the "Enchantress"on 6th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1840 [9]
  • Miss Louisa Crofts, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Emma Eugenia" on 16th November 1841, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [10]

New Zealand Crofts 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:

Crofts Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. H. Crofts, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Diana" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th July 1840 [11]
  • Robert Crofts, aged 18, a brickmaker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cartvale" in 1874

West Indies Crofts migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [12]
Crofts Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • John Crofts, aged 30, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [6]
  • Mr. John Croft's, (b. 1605), aged 30, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Anne and Elizabeth" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [13]

Contemporary Notables of the name Crofts (post 1700) +

  • Darell "Dash" Crofts (b. 1940), American musician; half of the 1970s singing duo Seals and Crofts, known for their hits "Summer Breeze", "Diamond Girl" and "Get Closer"
  • Charles Daniel Crofts (1822-1893), English cricketer who played for Cambridge University in 1843 and Sussex in 1840
  • Charles Alfred "Charlie" Crofts (1871-1950), English-born, Australian trade unionist
  • William Carr Crofts (1846-1912), English schoolmaster and rower who won the Diamond Challenge Sculls at Henley Royal Regatta twice
  • William Carr Crofts (1846-1894), English architect and entrepreneur
  • Thomas Crofts FRS, FSA (1722-1781), English Anglican priest, bibliophile, and Fellow of the Royal Society
  • Lewis Crofts (b. 1977), English journalist and author
  • Freeman Wills Crofts (1879-1957), Irish-English mystery author, one of the 'Big Four' of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction
  • Ernest Crofts (1847-1911), English military painter, an Associate of the Royal Academy of Arts on 19 July 1878
  • Andrew Crofts (b. 1953), English ghost writer
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Edward Arthur Crofts (1916-1939), British Engine Room Artificer 4th Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [14]

The Crofts 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)
  5. ^
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 5th 2021, retrieved from
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th April 2022).
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th March 2022). Retrieved from
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  12. ^
  13. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 23rd September 2021. (Retrieved from
  14. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook