This ancient English surname of CROYDON has derived its name from two places so called. CROYDON in Cambridgeshire and CROYDON in Surrey. The name was originally derived from the Old English word CRYDE, literally meaning the dweller in a valley habited by crows and where saffron grew. The earliest of the name on record appears to be CRAUUEDENE (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. CRAUEDENA (without surname) was recorded in Surrey in the year 1168, and CROUDON (without surname) was recorded in 1331. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. A later instance of the name include Edward CROYDON, who was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84.
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