Found in the spellings of Lidston and Lidstone, this is an English locational surname. It derives from the villages of Lidstone in the counties of Devon and Oxford. In fact it would seem that the Devon village which features in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Lyuedston' is the probable place of origin of all nameholders, as we have no evidence at all of the surname in Oxfordshire. However it was the practice in the Middle Ages to name people either after the village in which they lived, provided that they owned it, or when they moved to other areas. Then they took or were given, as their surname their place of origin. In this case the Lidston(e)'s seem to have both remained in Devon and near to their former village - and have to have moved elsewhere, specifically to London. Perhaps all the Oxford Lidston(e)'s went to London, certainly they all left Oxford! The name means either the 'tun' (farm) of Leofred, an Olde English pre 7th century personal name, or possibly 'The fenced (hlid) farm (tun)'. Examples of the recordings include Marie Lidston, who married James Wering at South Huish, Devon on February 10th 1581, Agnes Lidstone, daughter of William Lidstone, christened at the same place on March 20th 1620, and John and Elizabeth Lidstone, witnesses at St Mary Whitechapel, London, on July 4th 1720. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Lidston, which was dated January 10th 1564, christened at Stoke Fleming, Devon, 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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