This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor or unrecorded place, perhaps a "lost" village. There are an estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from Britain since the 12th Century; the prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool-trade in the 15th Century, and natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished. The original place is believed to have been in the Lincolnshire-Leicestershire area and the component elements of the placename are the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Aelfhere", elf-army, and "tun", fence, enclosure; hence, "Aelfhere;s enclosure". In some instances the surname may be locational from Alverstone on the Isle of Wight, which was recorded as "Alvrestone" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and shares the same derivation as Elverstone. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Elverston and Elverstone. On October 22nd 1615, Mudina Elverston married William Fincham, at Stow Bardolph, Norfolk, and Matthew Elverstone married Mary Wright at Wrangle, Lincolnshire, on June 8th 1684. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gabriell Elverston, which was dated March 14th 1607, witness at the christening of his daughter, Ales, at Breedon on the Hill, Leicestershire, during the reign of King James 1 of Scotland and V1 of England, 1603 - 1625. 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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