Recorded as Faustian, Faustin, Fosten, Fostin, and Foston, this is an English locational siurname. It originates from the various villages of Foston in the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and East and North Yorkshire. The word 'fosse' meaning a ditch, dike, or a road over marshy land, is one of the most popular topographical terms of ancient times. The famous Fosse Way, probably the first English road, crossed the country from Lincoln to Exeter, and villages on its length automatically adopted the name of 'Foss-tuna' or similar spelling, meaning the place on the ditch. In turn these villages supplied surnames, as former inhabitants left them to live elsewhere and were most easily identified by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, soon lead to the development of 'sounds like' spellings. In this case examples of the surname recording include Johannes de Fostuna of the county of Norfolk, in the Close Rolls of King Edward 11nd in 1308, and later in the early Elizabethan church registers of the city of London, that of Jane Foston or Fostone, who married Roger Skott (so much for spelling), at the church of St Mary Aldermary, on May 28th 1559.
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