The Term and Usage

The word Croyser comes out of the murk of the Indo-European languages, Gaelic, Germanic, and Italic, at the time that feudalism was coming to what is now the British Isles, after the Norman Invasion. There remains debate as to if the original root word referred to "crook" or "cross". The earliest of any use of the term is found in the early 12th century as the surname of one Simon Croyser.

Not until late in the 12th century is the term Croyser found to apply to the station of the religious prelates staff bearer. At this time the staff it self is referred to as the croce, crosse, bacculus, and several other terms. Over the next several centuries the staff becomes referred to as the “Croysers’ Staff, or Crosier Staff”. Early in the 15th century the staff itself begins to be called the “Crosier” or, by the early 1800's the “Crozier”

The crosier and crozier usage are now both correct and equally used.

The Crosier Surname

The earliest incidence of the surname Croyser some times spelt Croiser, is in early 1200's, this remained the most common variant until ~1400 when the Liddesdale branch was recorded as Croser until ~1620. On the English side Croyser gradually gave way to Crosier as the predominant spelling till the 1700's when it appears that Crozier was starting to be used in the British Isles. Most of the Crosiers that arrived in the 13 colonies maintained the “S”.  Croziers that immigrated to British Commonwealth countries after the independence of the United States are usually the “Z” spelling. When transcriptionsists copy old records they frequently “correct” the surname to the spelling in current use at the time and location of the transcription