Last name: Fist

There are two possible meanings of this rare and interesting name of medieval German origin, the first being that it derives from a German personal name (Latin 'Faustus', meaning fortunate or lucky) which was borne by a few little known early Christian martyrs. Fausto is fairly common in Italy as a given name, but not being used until after the Renaissance of the 16th Century, surnames from this source are very rare. However, the other source may be from the German 'faust', meaning fist, and a nickname surname for a strong willed, rather angry person. Amongst the sample recordings in London are the marriages of Mary Magdalen Faust and John Balthaser Hasloch on March 5th 1764 at St. James's, Westminster, and John Henry Faust and Mary Craft on April 13th 1762, also at St. James's. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hellen Fost (marriage to Edmond Masse), which was dated June 9th 1584, at Harrow-on-the-Hill, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558-1603. 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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