This is a most extraordinary British surname. Recorded in a wide range of spellings which include Tristram, Trustram, Trestron, Trustham and apparently the extraordinary dialectal transpositions of Trystrym, Trystrome, Tritsman, Trustman, and Trytsman, there are at least two possible origins. The first is from the pre 7th century Celtic word 'drystan' meaning 'tumult or noise' and the second from confusion with the French personal name Tristan, derived from 'triste' meaning sad, and introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of England in 1066. As a Christian or First Name, the popularity has been very varied, although in the 20th century, it seems to have returned to vogue. The first recorded spelling of the family name is probably that of Henry Tristram. This was dated 1207, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Essex, during the reign of King John of England 1199 - 1216. Other early recordings include Richard Tristram of Norfolk in 1296, whilst in the registers of the diocese of Greater London, Katheryn Trystome married Tom Tysdalle at St Dionis Backchurch, on August 17th 1539, Martin Trestrym was a witness at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on June 20th 1585, and Joseph Trustman appears at St Botolphs Bishopgate, on December 29th 1678. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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