This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called "Eastcourt" in Wiltshire near the county boundary with Gloucestershire. The placename is recorded as "Escote" in 901, in the Saxon Chronicles, and means "the eastern cottages or huts", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "east", eastern, with "cot", cottage, hut, shelter, often specifically shelter for animals, or shepherd's and herdsmen. The surname development shows that in the Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Dorset areas the "s" of "east" was dropped early on in recordings of the surname, which show a variety of forms: Ales Eycot (1569, Gloucestershire), Alse Ekot (1578, ibid.), Elenot Ecute (1598, ibid.), and William Euqett (1642, Wiltshire). In London the name development includes Henry Ecott (1721), Mary Ecket (1722), and Peter Eakett (1736). One Thomas Eacott was christened at Brimpsfield in Gloucestershire on February 9th 1688, and the marriage of Richard Eacott and Anne Cook was recorded at St. Martin in the Fields, London, on January 9th 1688, and the marriage of Richard Eacott and Anne Cook was recorded at St. Martin in the Fields, London, on January 21st, 1700. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gundwinus de Estcota, which was dated 1190, The Bedfordshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Richard 1, "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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