Recorded as Gaish, Gash, Gashe, Gasche, Gish, Goosh, Gosh, Gush, Wace, Waison, Wash, Wass and others, this is an English surname. It is however of pre 7th century Old French origins, and derives from the early personal name Gace, itself from an even earlier name Gazzo or Wazzo. The ultimate meaning is 'to go' from the word wad. It is one of the quite rare survivors from the period of history known as 'The Dark Ages'. Most of these names were lost with the introduction of Christian names usually of Hebrew and Greek origins and associated with the famous Crusades to the Holy Land in the 12th century. In this case the personal name is recorded as Gazo in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and as Gace de Gisorz in the charters known as the "Rotuli Litterarum Clausarum" of 1225. Early examples of the surname include John Gace in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire in 1230, and Godesman Gase in the Calendar of Patent Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1232. Later examples include Thomas Gash, a christening witness at St Brides Fleet Street, city of London, on May 12th 1616, and James Gush, a christening witness at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on August 28th 1656. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gace, which was dated 1224 - 1225, in the "Calendar of Patent Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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