This ancient name found in the spellings of Forst and Frost, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has the unusual distinction of being recorded as a surname as early as 1086 (in the Domesday Book), and also of having retained its original forms through the millenium since. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "frost or forst", and it is claimed was used as a nickname for one who had white hair or a white beard, or who was of 'frosty' disposition. These are the 'accepted' academic theories amongst those in the ivory towers of education, however logic suggests the opposite.We believe from our experience that 'Frost or Forst' had a quite different meaning, and was a baptismal name applied to one born in the times of frost, generally autumn. It is obvious that the name was considered complimentary, or it would not have survived, and this is confirmed by its paramount position amongst the earliest of all surnames. The very early recordings include Lefstan Frost in the Feudal Documents of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, in 1095, and Gilbert Frost of Warwick in the 1195 pipe rolls. Later examples include John Frost of Cambridge (1626 - 1667), a puritan divine and associate of Oliver Cromwell, and Thomas Frost aged 28 yrs, who was one of the very earliest settlers in the New World Colonies, leaving London on the ship "John" in October 1635 bound for St Christopher in the West Indies. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Forst, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Hampshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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