Recorded in a number of spellings including Tree, Trees, Treace and Treece, this is an English medieval surname. It is topographical, the derivation being from the Old English pre 7th Century "tre" meaning a homstead or the later "trees", a development of the early word "trowe". Certain "trees" played important rolls in the civil structure of ancient times. They were often boundary markers, or in certain cases, the meeting place for the tribe where important business was conducted. The name may also derive from a place such as "Treeton", a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which literally trnslates as the 'house amongst the trees'.Early examples of the surname development include ancient recordings such as John del Trees, in the Poll Tax Register of Yorkshire in 1379. Later church recordings taken from surviving registers of the post medieval period include: Thomas Tresse who married Jane Williams on June 9th 1611, at St. Botolph's church, Bishopsgate, city of London, and Thomas Treece who married Mary Flowers on October 26th 1662, at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Henry en le Tres. This was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of Devonshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 111 of England, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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