This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources; the first is from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) given name "Dunstan", which is composed of the Old English pre 7th Century "dunn", dark, brown and "stan", stone. The second source is locational from a place called Dunstone in Devonshire, locational from a place called Dunstone, in Devonshire, derived from the Old English "Dunstanestun", settlement of Dunstan, as before. The placename was first recorded as "Dunestanetune" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Dunstanestun" in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1204. However, there are a number of places which have similar names but different etymologies which may have contributed to the surname; these includes Dunstan in Northumberland and Dunston in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. The modern surname can be found as Dunstan, Dunstone, Dunsten, Donstone and Danston. Among the recordings in Devonshire is the marriage of Peter Dunstan and Agnes Ann Bond, on April 3rd 1733 at St. Andrew's, Plymouth. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander de Duneston, which was dated 1190, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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