This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a place of the same name in Somerset. Durston is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Derstona", and is derived from "Deor", a personal name of uncertain etymology, and the Olde English pre 7th Century "tun", a homestead or village; hence, "Deor's homestead". Locational surnames were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially 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. The surname is first recorded in the mid 16th Century (see below). Recordings of the surname from Somerset Church Registers include: John Durston, who married Alice Mylis on October 6th 1590, at Fitzwarren, Norton; the marriage of Elizabeth Durston and James Babb on January 18th 1601, at Pitminster; the marriage of Christoforus Durston to Fraunsiscus Parker, which took place in St. George's Church, Wilton, on November 10th 1604; and the christening of Anna, daughter of Roberti Durston, which took place on November 30th 1604, in the same place. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Christopheri Durston, which was dated September 1st 1558, a christening witness at St. George's, Wilton, Somerset, 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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