This is a name which would originally have been greeted with less than joy by the 8th century inhabitants of England. It is of Viking (Danish) origins and derives from the Old Scandanavian "Thor" the pagan god from which we have the modern "Thursday" plus "stein" - a stone or rock. This type of compound given name was very popular with the Vikings, symbolising war, nature, religion and ferocity, in fact a mirror of their normal way of life. The original name was recorded as Turstan or Thurstan in the 1086 Domesday Book, and from these spellings developed a wide range of local dialectal variants including Tustin, Tutin, Testin and even Dusting! The name was very popular amongst the Norman Invaders of 1066, who themselves were of course of (originally) Viking stock - The Norsemen, and most name holders today will have developed from these people.The change from the "baptismal" Thurstan to the surname is late 12th century (see below), and early examples include Wimmer Turstan in the rolls of Ely Abbey, Suffolk, in 1221, and John Turstein in the Somerset Rolls of 1250. The later forms of the spelling include William Testin, a witness at the christening of his son John at the famous church of St Botolphs without Aldergate, London, on March 16th 1627, and Margaret Testin, christened at the church of St James, Clerkenwell, on January 21st 1666, in the reign of Charles 11, 1660 - 1685. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Oswald de Turstun, which was dated circa 1120, the Danelaw Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 1 known as "The lion of justice" 1100 - 1135. 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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