This is an English locational surname. It derives from the village of 'Cropton' in North Yorkshire, this village being recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book in the spelling of 'Croptune'. Locational surnames were the earliest hereditary surnames, since identification from land ownership was easy to comprehend. The first nameholders were, in general named after the Manor of which they were the Lords. However in later periods particularly the 14th century to the 17th century, the Enclosure Acts forced tenants off their lands, to seek employment elsewhere, usually in the growing towns, and these people took or were given, as their surnames, by their new neighbours, that of their former home. However without a full genealogical survey, it is not possible to tell precisely under what circumstances locational surnames were granted, although in this case 'The Cropton's', if they moved at all, kept it to the minimum. The name 'Cropton' is descriptive, and translates as 'the tun', meaning a village or farm, on the 'crop', i.e. the summit of a hill, or a spur of land. The early recordings taken from church registers, are all from the area surrounding Cropton, this area being basically between York, Hull, and Scarborough, in the North and East Ridings, and these include Rychard Croptonn, christened at West Heslerton, on August 15th 1571, and Roger Cropton, who married Mary Carter at Setrington, on November 30th 1589. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Marie Cropton, which was dated October 21st 1561, christened at Wintrington, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as '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.