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CRAFT Family Origins


 English Origins:-


Where did the English CRAFT family come from? What is the English coat of arms/family crest? Where did the CRAFT family first arrive in Australia ? Where did the various branches of the CRAFT family go? What is the history of the family name?


The present generation of the CRAFT family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain . There name comes from living in an area that was near the croft. The surname is the northern form of Croft and it’s literal meaning is the area of arable land that was located by a cottage that was worked on by the farmer.


Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterised by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name CRAFT include Craft, Crafte, Croft, Kraft and others.


First found in Essex , where they were seated from ancient times. In the early 1700’s one of the CRAFT family’s lives in Lincolnshire which is the area the first Craft made his way to Australia . Searching for a better life many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them travelled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey of approximately nine months to Australia across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable through ballets of government land grants. Many went onto make invaluable contributions to development of the cultures  and land of the new colonies.


This web site will be focused on the CRAFT family as introduced via William Jonathon CRAFT into Australia who arrived into Sydney NSW from England by ship. William left behind in England Lincolnshire two brothers James and John along with his parents John CRAFT (father) and Elizabeth Craft nee Edgoose (mother). According to an old letter, William arrived on the 21st August 1858 aged 22 years. This was the day after the tragic loss of the ship “Dunbar” off the Gap near the heads leading into Sydney harbour. Following a search of the shipping records in the Mitchell library in Sydney there is no mention of William’s arrival, so we can assume he paid his own fare. William was given a 200 acre grant of land from the NSW government which was a section of the Cobbora Station near Cobbora NSW. After his marriage with Catherine Dolan on the 14th February 1867 at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney he packed up all of his belongings along with Catherine onto a Cobb & Co coach travelled out west to his grant of land to start farming. Their home was a single dwelling made from timber and bark with a dirt floor where they lived over the next few years while raising their six children



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