This rare surname is a patronymic based upon the early English nickname surname 'Lang', a description of a tall, thin person, or possibly given the robust humour of the medieval period, - the reverse, as in 'little John'. Whatever the true meaning the surname has a history dating back to at least Elizabethan times. The name development and recordings include John Longson who married Anne Johnes at St. Benets Churchs, Pauls Wharfe, London on the 1st of July 1623 in the reign of James I, whilst John Longson of Cannoch was christened on Boxing Day, 1736 in the reign of George II.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wyllyam Longson, which was dated 1564, married Elsabeth Swayneson at St. Michaels Bassishaw, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, '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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