Recorded in the spellings of Foyston and Foystone, this is an English locational surname from what is now believed to be a "lost" medieval village. The origin lies in the pre 7th century Olde English word "moi" meaning in this instance "The" or perhaps "thy" plus "stana", a stone, possibly a reference to an ancient burial ground or perhaps a tribal meeting place, by a particular rock. Some five thousand British and Irish surnames originate from lost sites, of which often the only reminder in the 20th century, is the surviving surname, and this is probably one of them. The early church registers are the best and most accurate method of analysing the origin, development, and meaning of a surname, and these suggest that the name is from the Yorkshire region, and possibly around Sheffield. It is certainly "rocky" around Sheffield, however we have some doubts as these church recordings only date from the late 16th century, whereas the village obviously existed before then. Examples of the surviving recordings include Dorothea Foyston, married at Sheffield Cathedral, on October 7th 1599, Edward Foyston, who married his wife Elisabeth Carling, at Roos in East Yorkshire, on November 27th 1786, and David Foyston, a witness at Holy Trinity church, Kingston upon Hull, also East Yorkshire, on March 14th 1864. The first known church recording may be that of Robert Foystone, who married Elizabeth Duke at Rotherham, on November 9th 1580. This was in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of England, 1558 - 1603.
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