This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Rostherne in Cheshire. The placename is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Rodestorne", and as "Routhestorn" in the 1228 Chartulary of the Abbey of St. Werburgh, Chester. The derivation of the placename is from the Old Norse personal name "Rauthr" (Old Danish "Roth", a personal name that translates as "the red one"), and the Olde English pre 7th Century "thorn", thorn-bush; hence, "Rauth's thorn-bush". Locational surnames were given to the lord of the manor, and to those former inhabitants who left to live or work in another area, and in this way the spelling of the name often changed with varying regional pronunciations. In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings ranging from Rawsthorn(e), Rawstorn(e), Rawstron and Rosten, to Rostern(e), Rosthorn, Rosson and Roston. Recordings of the surname from Prestbury Church Registers, Cheshire, include: the marriage of Thomas Rosten and Jane Right on June 6th 1695, and the marriage of Ann Rosten and Samuel Walton on September 15th 1702. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family depicts a silver tower triple-towered within an orle of gold crescents on an azure shield, the Crest being a cupit arm vested azure, charged with a gold crescent, cuffed silver and holding in the hand two branches of hawthorn proper. The Motto, "Semper vigilans", translates as, "Always watchful". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Routhesthorn, which was dated 1246, witness in the "Assize Court 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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