Recorded in several forms as shown below, this is an English surname which is also recorded in Ireland. It is locational from any of the places in England called Kingston or Kingstone. Almost all of these places were originally from the pre 7th century word "Cyningestun", meaning literally the settlement of the king, but more realistically a manor owned by the king. However, Kingston upon Soar in Nottinghamshire and Kingstone in Somerset have the different meaning of "royal stone" and "king's stone", perhaps indicative of some local monument. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, lead to the creation of alternative spellings. Early examples of the surname development include: Nicholas de Kyngeston of Oxfordshire in 1247, and Robert de Kingeston of Gloucestershire in 1273. The modern surname can be found as Kingston, Kingstone, Kynston, Kyngston, and Kyngestone. Amongst the many recordings in the city of London are the marriage of Thomas Kingston and Marie Starkey on November 24th 1633 at St. Peter's, Cornhill, and the christening of Arthur Kyngston, on May 23rd 1641 at St. Margaret's Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan de Kingistona. This was dated 1175, in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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