This interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is from a regional name for someone from the province of Gascony, from the Old French "Gascogne". The name of the region derives from that of the Basques, who are found close by and formerly extended into this region as well; they are first named in Roman sources as "Vascones", but the original meaning of the name, derived from a root "eusk-" in the on-Indo-European language that they still speak today, is completely obscure. By the Middle Ages the Basques had been displaced from most of Gascony by speakers of Gascon (a dialect of Occitan, related to French), who were proverbial for their boastfulness. The surname was first recorded in the early 13th Century, and early recordings include: William le Gascun in the 1208 Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire; Peter Gascoying in the 1274 Hundred Rolls of Devonshire; Joan Gaschoyn in the 1469 Register of the Guild of the Corpus Christi in the City of York; and Thomas Gaskyn in the 1524 Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk. The modern surname can be found recorded as Gascoigne, Gascogne, Gascoyne, Gascone, Gasken, Gaskin, Gaskins, and Gasking. George Gaskins and Margerie Fisher were married on March 8th 1613 at the church St. Katherine by the Tower (of London). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Bernard Gascon. This was dated 1206, in the Curia Regis Rolls of Northumberland, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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