This is a most interesting surname, whose true origins are apparently hidden in the mists of time. The name as 'Goldstraw' and 'Gouldstraw' is well recorded in the counties of Lancashire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire from the late 18th century, and in London shortly afterwards. The very first of all surnames were created in the 12th century, and thereon through to the 19th century there was a continous cycle of introduction and change. What is beyond argument is that all surnames at the time of origination had a specific meaning, be it locational, patronymic or job descriptive, as the main headings. 'Goldstraw' is a very reasonable and good looking name, but it has no obvious meaning. It is not apparently job descriptive, and it seems an unlikely nickname, whilst it is certainly not a patronymic. We are left with the possibility that it is locational from some place so named, except that there is no such place. The nearest in the records is 'Goldshaw Booth' in Lancashire, but originally recorded in the 12th century as'Goldgeofu's Both'(the farm of Goldgeofu), and it seems possible if not probable that 'Go(u)ldstraw' is a derivation of Goldshaw. If not then it derives from some now 'lost' village of which there are known to be some 5000 examples in England alone. The variant forms of the name appear to include Gouldshey (see below), and Goldster, (a London version). Examples of the surname recording include Samuel Goldstraw of Ipstone, Staffordshire, on June 16th 1778, James Gouldstraw of the same place on July 6th 1788, and Lucas Gouldstraw, christened at Manchester Cathedral on March 11th 1810. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gouldshey, which was dated September 29th 1639, christened at Burnley, Lancashire, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as 'The Martyr', 1625 - 1649. 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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