This interesting surname, with variants Blackston, Blackiston, Blakeston and Blaxton has two possible origins. Firstly it may be locational from "Blaxton", a township in the West Riding of Yorkshire, or "Blackstone edge" in Lancashire." Blaxton" in Yorkshire was recorded as "Blacstan" in the Yorkshire Inquisitions (1293). In some instances the name may be topographical for a dweller by a black stone, as a Philip Atteblakeston is listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcester (1275). The name may also originate from the Old English personal name "Blaecstan", meaning "black stone". Blackstan was recorded in the Domesday Book of Essex (1086). On February 14th 1590, at the church of St. Mary Aldchurch, London, Katherine, daughter of Richard Blackstone was christened. William Blackstone (d. 1675) was one of the earliest episcopal clergymen in Massachusetts, America. Another notable namebearer was Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780) educated at Oxford, and called to the bar to become Professor of Law at Oxford University. He was also solicitor general to the Queen and an M. P.. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Blacston, which was dated 1235, in the Liber Feodorum, (Buckinghamshire), 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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