This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a topographical surname acquired in the first instance by someone who lived by a brook to the east of a main settlement. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century phrase "(be) eastan broce", to the east of the brook, in Middle English "easter brook". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Early examples of the surname include Alan bi Estebrouk and Matilda Estbrok, both recorded in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls of 1327. London Church Registers record the christening of John, son of Jacob Easterbrooke, on October 19th 1651 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and the marriage of Robert Easterbrook and Elizabeth Howell, also at St. Dunstan's, on January 2nd 1725. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William (B)Estebroke, which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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