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  1. #1
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    Default When Normans Adopted Names

    Somewhere around, I read that the Normans often adopted as surnames the names of towns or villages where they settled/occupied.

    Has anyone heard of a family name being duplicated, because there were two villages, miles apart, with the same name?

    I ask because I found an archived mortgage document dated 1700s with the name of a place in Shropshire that is my family name, but it doesn't show up on any old maps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmy View Post
    Somewhere around, I read that the Normans often adopted as surnames the names of towns or villages where they settled/occupied.

    Has anyone heard of a family name being duplicated, because there were two villages, miles apart, with the same name?

    I ask because I found an archived mortgage document dated 1700s with the name of a place in Shropshire that is my family name, but it doesn't show up on any old maps.
    What's the name of the place Carmy?

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    Hi Anna. The place is Crompton.

    Until recently, all my information pointed to Lancashire being the origin of the family, because there was a village named Crompton. Yesterday, browsing through known ancestry in Wales, I came across a 1784 archive mentioning someone who lived in Crompton, Shropshire. (Name was Edward Frank, no family connection.) When I searched Crompton, Shropshire I came up with a load of information on people who may or may not be related. Their records date back to the 1500s with a possible connection to French/Norman pre 1066 (via the name Fowlkes). Unfortunately, none of the old maps I've searched showed the village name.

    Somehow, because of the proximity of Shropshire to Wales, it makes more sense than Lancashire. Plus, I haven't been able to make any connection between my family and those with the same name in Lancashire. We're all in Wales with the exception of one born in London.

    Any help appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmy
    Has anyone heard of a family name being duplicated, because there were two villages, miles apart, with the same name?
    There are many locative surnames and I wouldn't necessarily associate them with the normans. Because of the ways in which locative surnames were adopted, it would be surprising if all families with the same locative surname were related - two or more families may have adopted the same surname from the same place, or different places.

    Crompton may be a partial name of a lost manor/village. It may now be in a different county.

    When I searched Crompton, Shropshire I came up with a load of information on people who may or may not be related. Their records date back to the 1500s
    If you've found people of the name CROMPTON in Shropshire in the 1500s, they may of course have been living there for sometime and have moved there from elsewhere.

    Searches you might try include Access to Archives, Shropshire Archives online catalogue, Domesday; perhaps TNA's documentsonline for PCC wills?

    I found an archived mortgage document dated 1700s with the name of a place in Shropshire
    Where did you find the document? Does it mention other places from which it may be possible to infer the approximate location in Shropshire?

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    Hi Geoffers.

    It's true, the village may be lost. Also, the Shropshire border changed over the years, sometimes parts of the shire were in Wales, and the area was one part of Mercia. I've checked every site I can think of, including lost villages, and come up blank.

    Crompton and variations like Crumpton are all described as "crooked house" or "crooked manor", although in one place I found it is supposed to mean "by a well".

    This is the entry found via the National Library of Wales:

    1784, May 14-15
    1 Richard Colley the elder of Cletterwood, co. Mont., farmer 2 Edward Frank of Crompton , Shropshire, gent. 3 Andrew Adams of Leegomery, p. Wellington, Shropshire, gent. 4 William Coupland the younger of the town of Shrewsbury, gent. MORTGAGE (LEASE AND RELEASE) from 1 to 4 of a m. called Cletterwood in p. BUTTINGTON [now p. TREWERN], co. Mont. (in pursuance of a bond (11 Oct. 1780) by which 1 was bound to 2 in 483.8.0 for the repayment of 240.14.0, and which 2 assigned to 3, and of a judgment obtained upon it) to secure 185.0.8 + interest.
    http://isys.llgc.org.uk/isysquery/irlc45a/22/doc

    Alas, when I try to Google the link, nothing comes up, but I know I was on a hunt through/via the NLW at the time.

    From my research of the last couple of days, Shropshire was of great interest to the Normans and some of King William,s family lived in the area. I'm not saying my family was related to the king, just that there was a lot of Norman involvement in the area.

    I'll continue the hunt, and I'll check for the earliest dates of Cromptons in Lancashire. According to one place on A****, in 1891 all the Cromptons lived in Lancashire. I know that isn't true. Unless my grandfather was a figment of my imagination.

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    Like Geoffers, I don't think the Normans really come into it.

    Don't ignore the possibility that the catalogue entry you found may be wrong. For example A2A has references to an Edward Frank of Crumpwell or Crompwell in the parish of Oswestry .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmy
    Crompton and variations like Crumpton are all described as "crooked house" or "crooked manor", although in one place I found it is supposed to mean "by a well".
    Old English 'Crumbe' - hook or bend and 'tun' and enclosure, farm or town.
    However, in a border area it would not surprise me if this was a combined Anglo-Welsh word.

    This is the entry found via the National Library of Wales:
    1784, May 14-15
    1 Richard Colley the elder of Cletterwood, co. Mont., farmer 2 Edward Frank of Crompton , Shropshire, gent
    For an entry in the late 18th century, it would not surprise me if the word Crompton had been mistranscribed, either in modern times, or historically - see Peter's reply above for a possibility - there seem to be a couple of entries on Access to Archives:
    Edward Frank of Crumpwell

    Edward Frank of Crompwell

    From my research of the last couple of days, Shropshire was of great interest to the Normans
    The whole country was of interest, with revolts and uprisings that were put down, ensuring the borders were secure and enforcing control over the population. No single county can be singled out as being of specific interest.

    According to one place on A****, in 1891 all the Cromptons lived in Lancashire
    Absolute tosh and shows what fictious drivel can be found.

    To go back to your original question of names being duplicated from different places........Place names are descriptive, as an example 'Crompton' - I can envisage many farms existing by bends in a river; many of which farms no longer exist - many people who either became known as 'John of Crompton' and then 'John Crompton' because of where they lived. Also many unrelate people who moved away from a farmstead and became known by their place of origin.

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    Many thanks Peter and Geoffers.

    I ran some more searches on the NLW archives last night and was amazed how much information iin there relates to Shropshire. Maybe I should post something on the Shropshire board to let people know they should check it out when they research the area. Many of the archives have to do with land rents and tenancy, not unusual in a farming community, and the records go back to the 13th century. It was fascinating to read about masters awarding their servants things like a pair of white gloves annually. It made these people very real.

    I began to wonder if the entry I quoted had a misplaced comma. Mistranscription is also a real possibility because I've found spelling errors in my own family records posted on the Internet. And I find spelling errors in the records I'm sent to transcribe. Proofreading is becoming a lost art, and I'm as guilty as everyone else.

    Yes, there would have been farms everywhere that could easily be built crooked or had fallen that way over the years. I guess they eventually fell all the way over and were lost.

    I'll continue with the Welsh research (now linking back to the 1500s) and, just maybe, one of these days I'll find a reference to either Shropshire or Lancashire.

  9. #9
    Geoffers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carmy
    Yes, there would have been farms everywhere that could easily be built crooked
    The hook/crooked/bent part of Crompton will have described a physical feature in the land - a bend in a river or road for example; rather than be a reflection on architecture of a building.

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    Thanks Geoffers. I didn't even think of that. I had a vision of a thatched roof and daub-and-wattle walls all akilter. It explains why one description of the name mentioned "by a well" or "by water".

    By the way, when I mentioned Norman involvement in Shropshire, I meant King William's own family. There are several references to his brother and niece in the Shropshire pages.

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