This rare and interesting name is of medieval English origin, and is a variant of the French surname Gascar(d), itself a variant form of the regional name Gascoigne, given in the first instance to someone who came from the French Province of Gascony, in Old French "Gascogne". The name of the region drives from that of the Basques, who occupy the nearby provinces and formerly extended into this region as well; they are first named in Roman sources as "Vascones", but the meaning of the original name is very obscure. The surname Gascoigne is first recorded in England in the 13th Century, when Philip le Gascoyn appears in the Shropshire Fines Court Rolls of 1266. The variant forms Gascar(d), and Gasker, Goscar and Goskar, are recorded in England from the 16th Century on, and were also introduced by Huguenot refugees from France in the 17th Century: Jacque Goscar was christened in the Huguenot Church in Threadneedle Street, London, in 1603. One Thomas Goskar married Martha Calver in Stoke Ash, in Suffolk, on December 26th 1699. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edmond Gasker (marriage to Elizabeth Davy), which was dated 27th January 1571, in St. Augustines, Watling Street, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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