This interesting surname, though patronymic in appearance, is actually a locational name of Anglo-Saxon origin, from Eggleston in Co. Durham, or from Egglestone in the North Riding of Yorkshire. The place in Durham was first recorded as "Egleston" in the Pipe Rolls of 1196, and the place in Yorkshire was first recorded as "Eghistun" in the Domesday Book of 1086. Both places share the same meaning and derivation, which is from the genitive case of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Ecgwulf", from a Germanic given name composed of the elements "agi(l)", edge, point (of a weapon), with "wolf", wolf, and the Olde English "tun", enclosure, settlement; hence "Ecgwulf's settlement". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname was first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below) and can also be found as Eggleston, Egleston and Egglestone. Ralph de Egliston was a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire (1260). Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the christening of Hester, daughter of Edward and Elinor Eggelson, on May 27th 1649 at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London; the marriage of Sarah Eggleson to John Eason, on January 26th 1726 at Allhallows, London Wall; and the christening of Ann, daughter of John and Elizabeth Eggleson, on February 14th 1779 at Edmondbyers, Durham. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Egleston, which was dated 1196, in the "Pipe Rolls of Durham", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "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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