This unusual locational name has its origin in the place of that name in the North Riding of Yorkshire. This was recorded in the form of Scraftun in the Domesday Book of 1086 and had evolved into its present form by 1260 as is recorded in the Yorkshire Assize Rolls. The name is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century word "Scraef" meaning a Ravine or hollow and "tun" a farm or settlement. It was common during medieval times for a person to adopt the village name for identification purposes when migrating farther-a-field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Scrafton, which was dated married Margaret Rutter in St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster in 1571, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 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.