What an Earlier Generation Thought

The Ancient History of the Crosman Surname

Coat of Arms

In ancient manuscripts such as the Domesday Book that was compiled by Duke William of Normandy in 1086 AD, the Ragman Rolls (1291-1296) collected by King Edward the first of England, The Pipe Rolls, the Curia Regis Rolls, the Hearth Rolls, parish registers, baptismals, tax records and other ancient documents, researchers found the first record of the name Crosman in Somersetshire, England where they had been seated from very ancient times, perhaps before the 1066 A. D. Norman Conquests.

Confusing to the researchers, many different spelling were found in the archives (See "Alternate Spellings"). Although the name, Crosman, occurs in many manuscripts, from time to time the surname was also spelt Crossman, Crosseman, Crosman, Croseman, Croixman, Croisman, Croxman, Corceman, Crossman, Crossemen, Crosmen, Crossmann, Crosmann, Crouceman, Croiceman, Croseman, and these changes in spelling frequently occurred, even between father and son. There is a record of a father and eight sons, and in the graveyard where they are buried, all nine have different spellings. Many reasons existed for these spelling variations, but mainly it was because church officials and scribes spelt the name the best they could as the individuals themselves could not write.

The Crosman name is one of the most notable of the ancient Anglo-Saxon race. This founding race of England was a fair skinned people who were led by the Saxon General-Commanders Hengist and Horsa. They settled in Kent from about the year 400 AD. The Anglos occupied the eastern coast.

The five-century domination of English society by the Anglo-Saxon was an uncertain time, and the nation divided into five separate kingdoms. A high king was elected as the supreme ruler.

By the time of the Norman conquest, King Harold was on the throne and England was enjoy reasonable peace and prosperity. However because the invasion from France, by the Normans, and their victory at the Battle of Hastings, many of the vanquished Saxon land owners were required to forfeit their land to Duke William and his invading nobles. They became oppressed under Norman rule. Some moved northward to the midland, Lancashire and Yorkshire, even into Scotland.

The name Crosman emerged as a notable English name in the county of Somerset were no less than three branches were holding estates in that county during the thirteenth century. Those branches were headed by Nicholas, Phillip, and Thomas. West Moncton was later mentioned as being one of the oldest branches. They branched south to Cornwall where they intermarried with many of the distinguished families of both counties. For the next two or three centuries the family flourished on their many estates. The most notable during this time was Crossman of Somerset.

The bearers of the Crosman surname flourished for the next two or three centuries and played a significant role in the development of England politically. During the 16th through 18th centuries England was ravaged by religious and political conflict. There was much blood-shedding between Puritan, Catholic, Royal and parliamentary forces. Many families were encouraged to migrate to Ireland or the colonies "freely". Some were banished while others were rewarded with grants of land.

Settlers in Ireland became known as the Adventurers. Protestants were called "undertakers" because the undertook to maintain the faith. There is no evidence that Crosmans migrated to Ireland, but it is possible that a few ended up in there.

The New World beckoned and migration continued, some from Ireland, but mostly direct from England or Scotland, their home territories. Some families even moved to the European continent.

Kinsmen of the family name Crosman were among the many who sailed aboard small sailing ships known as the "White Sails" to the New World. These overcrowded ships were ridden with disease, sometimes 30-40% of the passengers never reached their destination.

Principal among the settlers was William Crossman who settled in Virginia in 1637. John Crossman settled in Sutton. He was one of the original purchasers of land from the Indians in the year 1639 (See "Massachusetts Crosmans"). John was from Taunton, Somerset, England originally. He had one known son, Robert. George Crossman settled in Philadelphia Pa. In 1729; Henry in 1805. In 1811 Newfoundland a Crossman was Sexton of St. John's. An Aaron Crossman of Devon, England was married in St. John's in 1840. In 1843 John Crossman settled in Bona Vista. Another John Crossman, a fisherman, was in Wiseman's cove in 1871.

This Information was developed from Certification # 943322-11.07-1842 from the Hall of Names, Inc.

A Prior Generation's Thoughts

There was a family of the name residing in Croser in Cornwall England whose pedigree is given in the visitation of Cromwell made in 1620 tracing their decent direct from John Croseman, grub, Twp. 24 Henry VII in 1509 who bore arms.
There was also a family of Crosemans residing in Sometshire which bore arms.
Originally our ancestors we known as "John of Coil", "John of Tauton", and "John of Crosser". I rather think the name originally came from the town of Crosser and where they first began taking Surnames. No doubt spelt Croseman, Crossman, Crosman.
By an Unknown Crosman (c1928) whose father was John Henry Crosman (1823-1907). It was found in the genealogy papers of Leslie Earl Crosman.