This early surname is English, but essentially of French origins. However to add to the confusion, it derives from the Roman (Latin) 'Eustacius' itself from the Ancient Greek 'Eustakhios', meaning fruitful. St. Eustace, was a Roman martyr who, while hunting near Tivoli was converted to christianity by a vision of a crucifix between the antlers of a hunted stag. The name 'Eustachius' (without surname) is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Hampshire, and was probably introduced bu the Norman invaders in 1066. The surname appears in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). Modern spellings of the surname include Eustace, Ewestace, Eustes, Eustis, Eustice, and short forms Stace, with its patronymics Stacy and Stacey. Early recordings include Robert Stace in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of the county of Huntingdon, Margery Eustace recorded in the 1296 records of the Earldom of Cornwall, and Robert Ewstace in the "Register of Oxford University", dated 1513. Interesting namebearers were Roland fitz Eustace, Chancellor in Ireland in 1472 - 1482 and participator in the Lambert Simnel rebellion, 1487, whilst John Eustace (1762 - 1815) was a classical antiquary and friend of Edmund Burke. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Eustase, which was dated 1275, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", 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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