This uncommon and interesting name is of Old Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Cawston in Norfolk, near Aylsham; the surname in fact represents the local pronunciation of the placename. Cawston is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Caupstuna" and "Caustuna", and appears in the Norfolk Pipe Rolls of 1159 as "Causton". The name is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Kalf", adopted from the Old Norse "kalfr", from "kalf", calf, with the Olde English "tun", enclosure, homestead, village; the early loss of the "l" is due to Norman influence. Locational surnames were acquired by local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Examples of the surname from Church Registers include the marriage of William Cason and Phillip-Harte at Brumstead, Norfolk, on June 26th 1567, and the christening of Daniell, son of Thomas Cason, at St. Mary's, Stratford, Suffolk, on December 22nd 1583. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name is blazoned as follows: Argent, a chevron sable between three horses' heads erased gules (red). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Cason, which was dated April 13th 1567, witness to the christening of his daughter, Rose, at Little Bealings, Suffolk, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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