This is a locational name which derives from the Olde English "Sceaga" meaning a copse or wood, and "Croft" an arable pasture usually with an adjoining house. It is possible that a place called "Shawcroft" once existed, "Shawcross" an an example is found in Derbyshire and it is also possible that this is the source of the name. The surname of "Shawcroft" has a long recording particularly in London. The name development includes Katherine Shawcroft, the daughter of the first recorded holder, christened at St. Lawrence Poultney in 1583, Jane Shawcroste, recorded at St. Michaels, Wood Street in 1602, whilst Twins Elizabeth and Mary Shawcroft were christened at Hoyland Church, Yorkshire in 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Shawcroft, which was dated 1575, who married Katherine Hawes at St. Mary Aldermary, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 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.