Last name: Nation
Recorded in many forms including Nachin, Nathan, Naton, Nation, Nason, Netton, Nettching, and many other obsure forms, this is a surname of uncertain origins. It is believed to derive from the biblical name Nathan. This was introduced into the British Isles by returning knights from the famous Crusades to the Holy Land in the 12th century. All the various expeditions were unsuccessful, and at at least one, that in 1199, ended in the death of the leader, the famous King Richard of England. However this does not seem to have dampened the enthusiasm for biblical names of which the most famous examples are probably Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the latter being the most popular name in the Christian lists, and best known as the surname Jones. It has been claimed that the 'Nathan' surname in England in its various forms is most generally found in the Midlands region, and this may be so, although it is equally well recorded in London. As Nason it is mainly recorded in Ireland where it is understood that it was a Dutch introduction following the victory of William of Orange in 1690 over the army of his father-in-law, King James 11nd of England and Ireland. Early examples of the surname recording include Joane Nation who was married at St Stephans church in the city of London, on November 7th 1596, William Nachin, who was christened at St Olaves Southwark, on January 1st 1660, whilst Margaret Nason of Cork, was an emigrant to America in 1846. This was during the Irish Famine (1846-1851). 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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