- Recorded as Cressingham, Crissingham, Crossingham, and others, this is an English locational surname, with in some cases a confused origin. Although the surname in any known spelling is not recorded in the county of Norfolk it probably originates from the two hamlets called Great and Little Cressingham, near the small town of Watton, in that county, alternatively for some nameholders at least it may originate from a now 'lost' medieval village believed to be in the Surrey-Sussex area called Crossingham, although this is not proven. Over five thousand surnames of the British Isles are known to originate from 'lost' villages, so the true origin of this name whatever the spelling is open to doubt. What we do know is that locational surnames are 'from' names. That is to say that usually they were names given to people after they left their birthplace to move somewhere else. To name people after their 'home' was logical, unfortunately spelling being at best rudimentary and dialects very thick, lead to 'sounds like' spellings. The place name of Cressingham means the place (ham) of the people (ing) where water cress (cressa) was grown, although if the the origin was from Crossingham this would probably have translated as the place at a sign of a cross, perhaps a local meeting place. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from church registers of the city of London include Magdalen Crossingham christened at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, on October 25th 1618, whilst at the same church Sarah Cressingham was christened there on September 18th 1631. We think they were probably related.
Surnames reference. 2013.
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