This surname is of medieval English origin and is locational from various places called Dunston, in, for example, Lincolnshire (Dunestone, in the Domesday Book of 1086), Norfolk (Dunestun, ibid.) and Staffordshire (Dunestone, ibid.), which all derive from Dunn'stun, an Old English personal name and "tun", a town or settlement. However, this surname may also have as its source Dunstone in Devon, recorded as "Dunestanetune" in the Domesday Book, or in Dunstan in Northumberland, recorded in the Fees of 1242 as Dunstan, and deriving respectively from the personal name "Dunstan", and the Old English "dun" a hill, and "stan", a stone, thus "stone on a hill". Locational names were generally given to former inhabitants of a village as a means of identification. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice Dunstone (marriage to Thomas Attynell), which was dated February 19th 1562, in "Horncastle, Lincolnshire", 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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