Recorded in several forms as shown below, this early medieval surname is English, but a French introduction. It derives from the Roman (Latin) personal name Eustacius, itself from the similar Ancient Greek Eustakhios, and meaning "fruitful". St. Eustace was a Roman martyr who, while hunting near Tivoli was converted to christianity by a vision of a crucifix between the antlers of a hunted stag. The name Eustachius as a personal name is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Hampshire, and was probably introduced by the Norman invaders in 1066. The surname first appears in the 13th Century (see below), and modern spellings include Eustace, Ewestace, Eustes, Eustis, Eustice, dialectals Heustace and Heustice, and the short form Stace, with its patronymics Stacy and Stacey. Early recordings include Robert Stace in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Huntingdon in 1279, Margery Eustace in the records of the Earldom of Cornwall in 1296, and Robert Ewstace in the Register of Oxford University, dated 1513. In the surviving early church registers we have the recording of Joseph Eustis, a christening witness at St Mary Whitechapel in the city of London in 1697, and the following year that of John Heustace, a christening witness at St Martins in the Field, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Eustase. This was dated 1275, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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