Recorded in several forms as shown below, this is an early English surname. It originates from the Olde English pre 7th century personal name Eastmund. This was a compound of the elements "east" meaning grace, and "mund", - protection. The name was first recorded as Estmunt in the Domesday Book of 1086 for the county of Suffolk, whilst Ricardus filius Estmund appears in the Pipe Rolls of Essex for the year 1195. The surname emerges in the early half of the 13th Century, (see below) and other early recordings include John Eastmunde in the Assize Court Rolls of Somerset in 1277 and Alan Esmund in the Fines Court rolls of Essex in 1385. In the "modern" idiom the name has several spellings including Eastman, Eastment, Astman, Eastmond, Esmond and Esmonde. A later recording taken at random from surviving church registers of the city of London includes that of Allexander Eastman, christened at St. Katherines by the Tower of London on May 23rd 1648, whilst the first known recorded spelling is shown to be that of Stephen Estmund. This was dated 1227, in the Assize Court rolls of Buckinghamshire, in the reign of King Henry 111rd, 1216 - 1272. 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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