This unusual and interesting surname, with the spellings Artis, Artiss, Artist, Artois, Artus, Lartice, and possibly others, is of French origin. It is locational from Artois, the region in Northern France. It is likely that this name was introduced into Britain after the Norman Conquest of 1066, Artois being the centre of Tapestry manufacturing for the whole of Europe. The name also had a second 'entry' five centuries later, with the famous Huguenot refugeees of the (mainly) 17th century. However the surname has been recorded in England since the earliest times, and particularly in the East Anglian region. Examples taken from surving rolls and charters include John Artes in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1524; Thomas Arteis also in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk but in 1568; Robert Artis in the Hearth Tax Returns of Suffolk in 1674; and Abraham Artus in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York in 1724. Recordings of the surname from the church registers of the city of London include: the marriage of Samuel Artis and Rebecca Chamberlain on May 15th 1705, at St. Ann and St. Agnes, Aldersgate, and William James Lartice, a descendant of French Huguenot Jean Lartois, recorded at Threadneedle Street French church in 1760, at St Andrews Holborn, on August 14th 1853.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Artoys, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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