This interesting and unusual surname is of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and derives from the Norman personal name "Wazo", which is from a Germanic compound name with a first element "wad", to go. Originally it was a baptismal name of some popularity, and this is confirmed by the number of alternative spellings, which include Wais(on), Way(son), Gaish(son), Gas(s)on, Gashion, Gaize and Gaze, the latter being particularly associated with East Anglia. The name appears as "Wazo" and "Gazo" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Wazo de Norton is listed in the 1195 Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire. John Gace is recorded in the 1224 Calendar of the Patent Rolls for Wiltshire, and John Gasce is noted in the 1230 Close Rolls of Kent. Recordings of the surname from Worcestershire Church Registers include: the marriage of John Gaise and an Crispe on September 31st 1656, at the Church of All Saints, Worcester; and the christening of Anne, daughter of Bartholomew and Ester Gaize, at Holy Cross, Penshore, on July 17th 1803. The Coat of Arms most associated with this family is a red shield, with three silver swords in bend, hilts and pommels gold, points upward, the Crest being an arm embowed in armour proper, grasping a silver broken falchion, hilt and pommel gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Wace, which was dated 1194, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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