This long-established surname is of early medieval Scottish origin, and is a locational name from the old burgh, now city, of Glasgow on the River Clyde, first recorded as "Glasgu" in 1116, and believed to be so called from British (pre-Roman) words that were ancestors of the Welsh "glas", grey, green, blue, and "cau", hollow. Situated in west central Scotland, Glasgow is the administrative centre of the Strathclyde region, and is the largest city in Scotland. The city contains the athedral of St. Mungo, dating from 1179, and its university dates from 1450. The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland record that in the year 1289 an official, Andrew de Glasgow, was appointed to take notice of the "escheats" (forfeitures) in the county to which he was appointed, and to certify them to the Exchequer; John of Glasgow was a monk of Holyrood in 1299; and in 1343, payment was made to another John de Glasgu for the table of the king's servants. Robert Glasgow, noted in "Protocols of the town clerks of Glasgow" was a witness in the burgh in 1554. A Coat of Arms granted to the Glasgow family of Scotland is a silver shield with an azure chevron between two black fishes naiant in chief, and an oak tree growing out of a green mount in base, the Crest being a black martlet. In Ireland and Scotland, Glasgow is occasionally found as an Anglicized variant of the Gaelic "MacCluskey", originally "MacBhloscaidhe", a patronymic of "Bloscadh" meaning "Loud One". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Glasgu, bishop of St. Andrews, which was dated 1258, in the "Charter Book of the Priory of St. Andrew's", during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. 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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