This most unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a variant of "Straight", itself a nickname for someone who stood upright, erect, or for one who was free from crookedness, and was noted for their honesty. It may also have been given to a woman who was virtuous and chaste, and conducted herself well, in accordance with the traditions of the time. The surname derives from the Middle English "strezt", not crooked, upright, erect. It is an example of the sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. Nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical appearance, mental and moral convictions as well as habits of dress and occupation. It first appears in the early 13th Century (see below), and Richard Streht was recorded in Worcestershire in "A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds", circa 1216. Jane Strayght married Thomas Felde on October 30th 1589 at St. Martin Pomeroy, London, while Edward Streight, son of John Streight, was christened on April 3rd 1662 at St. James's, Paddington, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Streit, which was dated 1203, in the "Feet of Fines of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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