This interesting surname of English origin is a nickname for a stranger or newcomer to a community, deriving from the middle English "g(h)est" (old Norse "gestr") meaning "guest" or "visitor". The surname dates back to the early 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Richard le Gest (1248), "Select Documents of the English Lands of the Abbey of Bec; Middlesex", and Thomas le Ges (1275), "The Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Gueste, Ghest, Gest, Geste, etc.. One Margaret Geeste married Thomas Emberson on October 5th 1546 at St. Margaret, Westminster and Edward Guest married Joane Willson at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, London on September 9th 1632. An interesting namebearer was Edmund Guest (1518 - 1577). He obtained an M.A. at Kings College, Cambridge in 1544, became archdeacon of Canterbury in 1559, bishop of Rochester from 1560 - 1571. he was distributor of alms on behalf of Queen Elizabeth from 1560 - 1572, and was bishop of Salisbury from 1571 - 1577. he left his library to Salisbury Cathedral. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Benwoldus Guest, which was dated 1100 "The Old English Names Register", during the reign of King William 11, known as "Rufus", 1087 - 1100. 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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