Amedieval nickname surname which derives from the Olde English pre 9th Century "Crys", and means "One with Curly Hair". The name can also be a pet form of "Crispin'", but this is quite rare and difficult to prove with certainty. The name is well recorded in the National Biography, Sir Nicholas Crisp (1599 - 1666) being a Royalist Supporter of Charles 1, received the monopoly of trading to Guinea, and was subsequently expelled from Parliament. In the Civil War, he raised a Royalist Regiment and in consequence his property was sequestrated by Parliament. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Crispe which was dated 1589, The Suffolk Parliamentary Rolls during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.