The surname of GROCOTT was derived from the Old French word 'grue' an occupational name 'one who looked after the crane's, a long legged bird'. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The names introduced into Britain by the Normans during and in the wake of the Invasion of 1066, are nearly all territorial in origin. The followers of William the Conqueror were a pretty mixed lot, and while some of them brought the names of their castles and villages in Normandy with them, many were adventurers of different nationalities attached to William's standard by the hope of plunder, and possessing no family or territorial names of their own. Those of them who acquired lands in England were called by their manors, while others took the name of the offices they held or the military titles given to them, and sometimes, a younger son of a Norman landowner, on receiving a grant of land in his new home dropped his paternal name and adopted that of his newly acquired property. Early records of the name mention Roger le Grue who was recorded in the year 1230 in County Somerset and Gerard le Grue was documented in 1246 in County Yorkshire. Margeria Groucok was recorded in 1275, County Surrey, and William Grucock was mentioned in 1312. Johannes Grewe of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. An interesting document states that Henry III in the year 1250, spent his Christmas at York. In the expenditure for that visit appears the provision of 7000 fowls, 1750 partridges, 125 swans and 115 grues. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did.
The associated arms are recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. (Grue). It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way.
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