This unusual and interesting English name is of uncertain origin, but believed to be locational either from Barnstaple in Devonshire or Barstable Hall in Essex. The first recording of the Devonshire placename is spelt "Beardastapol" in 979, but had evolved into the form "Barnestaple" (Domesday Book) by 1086. From the early recording it appears that the derivation was from the given name "Bearda", with "stapl", a post, staple, and suggests that the place took its name from "Bearda's post". Alternatively, the initial element may be the Olde English pre 7th Century "barda", a beaked ship, the name would probably then denote a post to which a warship was moored.In St. Mary Arches, Exeter, one Ede Bastable was christened on January 30th 1561, and William Barstable, of Devon, entered in the Oxford University Register, on April 11th 1617, was re-entered as "Bastable" on May 30th of that year. This English surname has been on record in the Munster counties of Cork and Kerry since the 17th Century, where it appears on a Will Record at Castleisland, County Kerry, in 1670, and on a Birth Register of Castle Magner, County Cork, in 1698. A Coat of Arms granted to the Bastable family is a red shield, on a silver bend three trefoils slipped green, the Crest being a red griffin's head between two gold wings erect, and the Motto: "Regardez mort". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Bardestapel, which was dated 1219, in the "Feet of Fines of Essex", 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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