This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon (Germanic) and Norman-French pre 10th Century origins. It derives from the word "wazo", itself a development of "wado", meaning "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 and Gaze, the latter being particularly associated with East Anglia. The name appears as "Gazo" in the 1086 Domesday Book, and the surname recordings include John Gace (1230) of Hampshire and Godesman Gace in the Patent Rolls of Lincoln for 1232 A.D., whilst John Gasce is recorded in the London Pipe Rolls of 1230, and another John Gace in the Hampshire Pipe Rolls of the same date. Late medieval Church Records list the christenings of John, son of Robert Gaze, on June 8th 1595 at St. Lawrence Jewry, London, and later of Marie Magdelene, daughter of Francois and Conisse Gaze, on November 21st 1689 at Pagny-sur-Moselle, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is red, three silver swords in bend gold hilts and pommels points upward. The Crest is an arm embowed in armour proper grasping a silver broken falchion gold hilt and pommel. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gace, which was dated 1230, in the "Calendar of the Patent Rolls, 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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