This interesting and unusual name is a locational surname which has two possible origins. Firstly, it may derive from the place called Royston in Hertfordshire; this is first recorded as 'Crux Roaisie' in 1184, and as 'Croyroys' in 1262, showing its derivation from the Old French 'croiz', cross, with the female given name 'Royse', which is of Germanic origin, composed of a contracted form of the elements 'hrod', renown, with 'haid(is)', kind, sort. The original name was thus 'Royse's cross', referring to a cross set up by a certain Lady Royse. However, the placename is recorded as 'Roiston' by 1286, which may be either 'the settlement at Royse's cross', or 'Royse's stone', from the addition of either the Old English pre 7th Century 'tun', settlement, or 'stan', stone. The second possible origin of the surname is from Royston near Barnsley in West Yorkshire, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Rorestun', and meaning 'Hror's settlement', from the Old English byname 'Hror', 'Vigorous', with 'tun' as before. The marriage of Thomas Royston and Margaret Hurste was recorded in Brodsworth, Yorkshire, on the 15th of May 1631. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Clemens Roiston (christening), which was dated March 2nd 1544, Barkway, Hertfordshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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