This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from the various places so called, for example in Essex and Nottinghamshire. The derivation is usually from the Olde English pre 7th Century "east", an easterly direction, with "wudu", a wood, as in the case of Eastwood in Essex, first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Estuuda". However, the place in Nottinghamshire is first recorded in the Domesday Book as "Estewic", and in the Pipe Rolls of 1166 as "Est Twait", which derives from "east", as before, and "thwaite", a piece of cleared land. Locational surnames, such as this, 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. Recordings from Essex Church Registers include: the christening of John Eastwood on June 5th 1558, at Great Bentley, and the christening of William Eastwood on November 8th 1590, at Cold Norton. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name is a black shield, an ermine chevron with two gold couple closes, between three silver swans beaked and membered of the third, the two in chief respecting each other, the Crest is on a ducal coronet per pale gold and red a lion passant guardant per pale of the second and first crowned proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Estwde, which was dated 1221, recorded at Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 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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