This very interesting medieval name is derived from 'eightshilling' - a medieval nickname surname given to a person who paid this amount of money in some form of transaction ie. a land purchase or perhaps cattle. It may be that the original name holder paid too much, or obtained a bargain, either way a nickname was applied which stuck. Similar names are Twopence, Fourpence, Ninepence and Shilling, although the now extinct 'Thousandpounds' may have meant something quite different. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jeremiah Eightshillings which was dated 1666 Tallow Maker of Shoreditch, London during the reign of King Charles 11 The Merry Monarch 1660 - 1685. 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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