Recorded in a number of spellings including Turstan, Turstin, Thurstan, Thurstance, Thurstans and others, this is an ancient English surname. It has at least two possible origins. Firstly it may be Norse-Viking from the popular pre 8th century personal name "Thorsteinn" composed of the divine name "Thor", the name of the god of thunder in Scandinavian mythology and "steinn", stone, hence "Thor's stone". Secondly it could locational from "Thurston", a village near Bury St. Edmunds in the English county of Suffolk. This also has Norse origins from "Thor", with the Old English word "tun", meaning a settlement. The placename was recorded as Thurstuna and Torstuna in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The personal name was recorded as also recorded in Domesday Book as Turstan of Yorkshire, Turstinus of Staffordshire and Tostin in Herefordshire. Herueus de Thurston was recorded in the Suffolk records for the year 1221, whilst John Thurston of Wrentom in Suffolk, a carpenter aged 30, his wife Margrett, 32 years of age, sailed to New England on May 10th 1637, making them amongst the earliest of the settlers. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osward de Turstun. This was dated 1121, in the Feudal documents of the Abbey of Bury, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 1st of England, 1100 - 1135. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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