This interesting and unusual surname is of Old Germanic origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, it may be a locational name from the town of "Anstedt" in Germany, which translates as "town by the swamp". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname is also a Germanic form of the Middle English male given name "Ansta(y)se" (female "Anastasie"). The name derives from the Greek word for "resurrection" and was given to children born about Eastertime. The early Christians gave it to newly baptized children to signify that they had arisen to a new life. Recordings of the surname from various Church Registers include; Margaretam, daughter of Joannis and Annae Anset, who was born on November 5th 1679 at Aremberg, Rheinland, Germany; Elizabeth Ansett, who married Peter West on June 8th 1755 at East Guildford, Sussex; and Edward, son of William and Dinah Ansett, who was christened on June 19th 1796 at Linton, Kent. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a blue shield charged with a silver cross moline within a silver inverted horseshoe. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margarett Anecett, which was dated October 14th 1549, marriage to Robart Forbue, Willesborough, Kent, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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