This interesting and unusual name recorded in various spellings including Austick, Austweek, Austwick, Austwicke, Ostweeke, and Ostwick, is medieval and English. It is of locational origin from a place in the West Riding of Yorkshire called Austwick, recorded as Oustewic in the Domesday Book of 1086, and later as Austwich and Estwich in the pipe rolls of Yorkshire in the year 1166. The place was so called from a Scandinavianized form of the Old English pre 7th Century "east" meaning to the east, plus "wic", an early loan word from the Latin "vicus", and describing a dairy-farm; hence, the dairy far to the east (of the main settlement).Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else, even though this may only be to the next hamlet. Early examples of surviving recordings taken from the church registers of Yorkshire include on September 12th 1558, John Austwicke, who was christened at Ackworth, and on April 29th 1663, Richard Austwick who was christened at Featherstone In the registers of the city of London Martha Ostweeke was christened at St. James Clerkenwell, on June 11th 1682, and on August 19th 1701, Mary, the daughter of Thomas Ostick, was christened at St. Anne's Soho, Westminster. 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.
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