This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Gartside or Garside in Oldham, Lancashire. The placename derives from the Middle English "garth", an enclosure (a development of the Old Norse "garthr"), with the Olde English pre 7th Century "side" a hill slope; hence "enclosure on the hill slope". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. It may also be a topographical name for a "dweller in the enclosure on the hill slope". Topographical names were some of the earliest names to be created, as topographical features, whether natural or man-made, provided obvious and convenient means of identification. Richard atte Garthend is noted in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. The surname can also be found as Gartside and Garthside. Recordings from Lancashire Church Registers include the christening of John Garside on December 20th 1558, at St. Mary's Church, Oldham. A Coat of Arms granted to the Garside family is silver, with a black galley, her sails furled, red flags, between three red crosses crosslet fitchee, the Crest being two daggers in saltire proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Garcesside, which was dated 1333, in the "Registers of Oldham", Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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