The surname of CROSTHWAIT was a locational name 'of Crosthwaite' a parish in County Cumberland and a chapelry in County Westmorland. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Scottish surnames fall into two quite distinct groups; those of Gaelic origin and those of English origin. The Gaelic language was brought to Scotland from Ireland around the 5th century AD, displacing the British language (an early form of Welsh) previously spoken there as well as elsewhere. Gaelic was the main language of that part of Scotland not subject to English influence, a rather more extensive area than the present day Highlands and Islands, where Gaelic is still spoken in places. It is from these northwestern and western areas of Scotland that surnames of Gaelic origin, now almost universally Anglicized in form, have been disseminated around the world. Early records of the name mention John de Crostweyt who was documented in the year 1273 in County Norfolk. Later instances of the name include Gawin Crostwat who registered at Oxford University in the year 1534. Richard Crosthwaite of Kirby Kendall was listed in the Wills at Richmond in 1729. Baptised. James, son of Mr Croswaite, at St. Mary, Ulverston, in the year 1721. 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 lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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