This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called 'Austwick' in West Yorkshire, near Settle. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Oustewic', and in the 1175 Yorkshire Pipe Rolls as 'Austwich', and means 'the eastern dairy farm, or outlying farm'. The name derives from a Scandinavianized form of the Old English pre 7th Century 'Eastwic', from 'east', east, and 'wic', originally from the Latin 'vicus', village, but with the Old English meanings of a hamlet, dwelling-place, and frequently a dairy-farm. The surname development in Yorkshire includes: Nicholas Austwyke (1556), John Austwicke (1558), Mary Awstwick (1573) and Richard Astwick (1588), and the modern surname can be found as Austwick and Astwick. One Alyce Austwick was christened on September 2nd 1559 at Rotherham, in Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Austweek (marriage to Alice Wood), which was dated 1538, Hemsworth, near Wakefield, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, 'Good King Hal', 1509-1547. 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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