The surname of CROWHURST was a locational name 'of Crowhurst' a parish in County Surrey, three miles from Battle. The name was originally derived from the Old English word CRAWAHYRST, literally meaning the dweller at the wood hill, or from residence nearby. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The earliest of the name on record appears to be CROHERST (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086, and CROWEHURST (without surname) was recorded in County Surrey in the year 1189. The Norman Conquest in England in the year of 1066 revolutionized our personal nomenclature. The old English name system was gradually broken up and old English names became less common and were replaced by new names from the continent. Most of the early documents deal with the upper classes who realised that an additional name added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Names of peasants rarely occurred in medieval documents. In 1086 the compilation of the Domesday Book was ordered by William the Conqueror (1027-87), king of England from 1066. He was born in Falaise, the bastard son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, by Arlette, a tanner's daughter. On his father's death in 1035, the nobles accepted him as a duke. When Edward the Confessor, King of England died in 1066, William invaded England that Autumn, on 14th October, 1066 killing Harold (who had assumed the title of King). English government under William assumed a more feudal aspect, the King's tenants-in-chief and all title to land was derived from his grants, and the Domesday Book contains details of the land settlements, and the names of the owners of such. Other records of the name mention Walter de Croherst, 1273, County Surrey. Edward Crowhurst of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. A later instance includes a certain William Ansell and Mary Crowhurst who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1777. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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