Recorded as Lancashire and Lancaster, this is an English surname. It is locational either from the county of Lancashire, or from the country town of Lancashire, Lancaster. As to which came first is unclear, and it seems that the surnames may have been interchangeable, but the county town appears as "Loncastre" in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 and later as Lanecastrum in the Pipe Rolls of the county in 1094. In both cases the origin is much the same with derivation from the river Lune on which the city stands, plus the pre 7th century "ceaster", a Roman fort. Lancashire is recorded as the "Honor de Lancastre" in 1246. Early examples of recordings include Edmund, earl of Lancaster (1245 - 1296) called "Crouchback", the second son of Henry 111 and Eleanor of Provence was styled King of Sicily by the Pope in 1255 and renounced this claim in 1263, and is buried in Westminster Abbey. In 1327, John de Lancaster appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire, whilst in 1604 Robert Lancashire, had his will registered at Chester. Gowen Lancaster, was one of the first settlers to Viriginia in 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Lonecastre, which was dated 1175, in the "Cartulary of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The church builder" 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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