This surprisingly rare surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Longhirst in Northumberland, or from any of the places so named. Longhirst in Northumberland was recorded as "Langherst" in the Curia Regis Rolls (1200), and derives from the Olde English pre 7th century "lang", "long", long, with hyrst, wooded hill; hence "long wooded hill". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below) and can also be found as Langhurst. Robert de Longehurst is listed in the 1332 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of Henry, son of Henry and Elizabeth Longhurst, on June 12th 1695 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney; and the marriage of Walter Longhurst and Martha Andrews on November 20th 1701 at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, Westminster. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a black shield with five silver bendlets overall a red chevron, the Crest being in a gold ducal coronet, a griffin's head holding in the beak a key proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Langherst, which was dated 1221, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Surrey", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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