Recorded in the spellings of Livingstone and Livingston, this famous Scottish clan owes its name to lands in West Lothian originally settled by a Saxon! The parish of Livingston was named after an Englishman called "Leving" who settled there after being granted the lands by King David 1st of Scotland (1124 - 1153). The village was recorded as "Levingestun" in the 12th century, and amongst the early recordings is that of Turstanus Leuig, the son of the original Leving, who granted to the monks of Holyrood, the church of "Leuiggestun" in about the year 1200. Other early recordings include William Levestone (see below) who witnessed a grant by the earl of Levenax to Patrick Galbraith, whilst in 1296 Sir Archibald de Levingestoune, apparently of Edinburgh, rendered homage to the republican government of Scotland. This government lasted for ten years before being ousted by Robert the Bruce in 1306. James Leyffingstoun was appointed the great chamberlain of Scotland in 1456, Alexander Livingstone was christened at Dalkeith on April 8th 1653, whilst in 1747 John Levistone was recorded in Islay. The explorer David Livingstone (1813 - 1873) came from a branch of the McLeays, a sept of the Stewarts of Appin, who sometimes anglicized their name to Livingstone. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Levystone, which was dated circa 1290, in the charters of the earls of Levenax, Scotland, during the reign of Queen Margaret of Scotland, known as Margaret of Norway, 1286 - 1290. 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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