This interesting surname, which is found in England and France, is of Old French origin, and is a nickname given to an intelligent person, or someone who was widely known for giving good advice in the community, in an era when education was not as widespread as it is today. The derivation is from the Old French, Middle English "raison", reasoning, intellectual faculty, coming from the Latin "ratio", a derivative of "reri", to think. The name was probably first introduced into England by the Normans in the aftermath of the Conquest in 1066, and was later reintroduced by French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in France in the late 16th and 17th Centuries. In England the name was Anglicized in the variant forms Resun, Reasun, Racine, Reason and Rayson. Early examples include Richard Resen (Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, 1273), and John Raysun (Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire, 1273). Elyn Rasun married Rowland Ledson on September 16th 1540, at St. Michael Bassishaw, London, while Elisabetha Raison married Rodolphus Wilbrons on February 13th 1603, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. In France, Marie, daughter of Henry and Marguerite Raison, was christened on April 28th 1619, at Blenod-les-Toul, Meurthe-et-Moselle. Thomas Joseph, son of Jaques Racine, was christened at the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London, on October 6th 1793. The family Coat of Arms depicts on a red shield, a gold lion rampant between four crosses patonce vair. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Reson, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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