This name, with variant spellings Prestwich, Prestedge, Prestidge and Prestige, is of English locational origin from a place in Lancashire called Prestwich. Recorded as Prestwich in the 1194 Pipe Rolls of that county, the place was so named from the Old English pre 7th Century "preost" meaning "priest", plus "wic" a dwelling or outlying settlement. The surname from this source was first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century, (see below). The change from prestwich to Prestage is due to dialectal influences and is reflected in Swangage (Dorset), initially recorded as Swanawic in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 877. On March 1st 1723, John, son of Nathaniel Prestage, was christened in North Church, Hertfordshire, and on May 29th 1726, Susanna, daughter of Robert Prestage, was christened in St. Martin-Vintry, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Prestwyc, which was dated 1230 "The Pipe Rolls of Lancashire", 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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