That this surname is locational and of early English origins, is beyond reasonable doubt, but the precise place of origin is open to argument. The surname is first recorded in Elizabethan times, a period when there was considerable economic and religious unrest. The iniquitous Enclosure Acts robbed the tenants of their grazing rights and forced many to leave the homes. These people took (or were given) as their identity, the name of their former village, and spelling being rudimentary and local dialects almost a foreign language, new surname forms emerged overnight. In this case we believe that Roostan is a form of the Hertfordshire village Royston, this village being also recorded in the proven surname forms of Roistone, Royson, and Rooson. However it is also possible that Roostan is a variant of Ruston or Rushton, since all these villages have been sources of surnames. Frankly it is not really possible to be sure, as all were intermixed in the great metropolis of London. Royston was originally called Crux Roaisie, after a Lady Roase who founded a priory there, whilst the various Rus(h)tons have the rather more prosaic meanings of the farms in the rushes or brushwood! Examples of the surname recording may include Randle de Ruston of Cheshire in 1260, John Ruston of York in the Poll Tax rolls of 1379, and definitely include Ursula Roostan, daughter of Ambroes Roostan, although he may originally have been recorded as "Ruston", who was christened at the church of St Dionis Backchurch, London, on April 8th 1591. There is a recording of a William Roostan or Roosan at St Alpheges Church, Canterbury on December 19th 1641. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Ruston, which was dated 1194, in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart" 1189 - 1199. 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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