This notable surname, recorded in the Irish province of Leinster since the 13th Century, is a variant form of Gascoigne, itself a medieval English regional name for someone from the province of Gascony in South West France. The name of this region derives ultimately from that of the Basques who once occupied the area, and are first named in Roman sources as "Vascones". By the Middle Ages the Basques had been displaced from most of Gascony by speakers of Gascon (a dialect of Occitan, related to French). The urname itself derives from the Anglo-French "Gascon", Middle English "Gasco(u)", a Gascon, or native of Gascony, and early examples of the name from English records include: William le Gascun (Yorkshire, 1208), and Thomas Gaskyn (Suffolk, 1524). In the modern idiom the surname is spelt: Gascoigne, Gascoin(e), Gascoyne, Gaslain, Gasken, Gaskin and Gasking. On July 30th 1567, John Gaskin, an infant, was christened at St. Paul's, Bedford, Bedfordshire, and on September 25th 1670, Thomas, son of William Gaskin, was christened at St. Peter and St. Kevin's Church, Dublin. The family have given their name to Gaskinstown in County Meath. A Coat of Arms granted to the Gaskins or Gascoynes of Cardington, Bedfordshire, is a silver shield, with a demi lucy erect couped gold on a black pale, the Crest being a gold demi lucy's head erect between two ostrich feathers. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Bernard Gasco, which was dated 1206, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Northamptonshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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