The surname of CROPPER was an occupational name 'the cropper' a mower, a sickler, a field labourer. The name is still found chiefly in Lancashire, and was originally derived from the Old English word CROPP. The word was also used of the polling (a term given to an animal that has had its horns lopped) of cattle and the name may therefore have been given to someone who did this. The occupational surnames refer directly to the particular trade or occupation followed by the first bearer of the name. These occupations can be divided into classes such as agricultural, manufacturing, retailing and so on. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today. Smiths, millers and wrights were indeed specialists, but even they would normally have their own smallholdings for growing crops and keeping a few animals. Others were simply designated as the servant of some person of a higher social status, as a maid or parson. Early records of the name mention Roger le Croppere, who was recorded in 1221 in County Lancashire Thomas Crapere was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Willelmus Crapper of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Later instances of the name include Gilbert Cropper of Whiston who was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1545. Edward Cropper married Joan Pearce at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1655.
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