This most interesting surname is of Old Scandinavian (Norse) origin, and is a Norman form of the Old Norse personal name "Asketill", which is composed of the Scandinavian elements "oss, ass", god, and "ketill", sacrificial cauldron. It was a popular male personal name before the Norman Conquest of 1066, having been introduced by Viking invaders in earlier times, and is found in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Aschil". Asketimus filius Od was recorded in the "Documents illustrative of the Social and Economic History of the Danelaw", in 1163, and Robertus filius Astin was mentioned in 1219 in the Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire. The surname itself was first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below), and one Hugh Astyn was listed is the Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire in 1297. John Asketyn and William Hastin were both noted in the Assize Court Rolls of Kent in 1317. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Ales Astin and Amys Allin at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on April 13th 1602, and the marriage of Henrie Astin and Jane Ginninges on October 16th 1615, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. William Astin was buried in the parish of St. Michael's, in the Barbadoes, on July 30th 1678. The name is also found in the modern idiom as Askin, Astins, Ashken, Haskin, Haskins and Hasting. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Astin, which was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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