The surname of CRUMPTON was a locational name 'of Crompton', a place name in the County of Lancashire. This name is familiar to County Lancashire. The name was derived from the Old English word CROMETUN, literally meaning the dweller at the well, or a spring or stream. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land. Early records of the name mention Richard de Crompton of the County of Lancashire in 1246. Thomas Widdow Crompton in 1592, ibid. John Crompton and Ruth Baxter were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1781. Local names find their origins in the villages, towns and areas where people were born, or from the land they owned. In the Middle Ages, a man was identified by his place of birth and almost every city, town and village existing in medieval times has originated one or more family names. Anyone leaving his birthplace would be known to new friends and neighbours by the name of his former residence, his birthplace, or the land he owned. A notable member of the name was Rookes Evelyn Bell CROMPTON (1845-1940) the English engineer, born near Thirsk, and pioneer of electric lighting and road transport. While still a schoolboy he designed and built first a model and then a full-size steam road locomotive, continuing with this work after army service in India. His road steamers were technically successful, but could not compete with the rapid development of the railways in the second half of the nineteenth century. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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