This interesting and unusual surname is a variant form of the surname Wace, which has two possible sources. The first source is of Scottish and English origin, from the Norman personal name "Wazo", derived from a compound Germanic name "wada", with the first element "wad", meaning to go. Wada was the name of a legendary sea-giant. The second source is Welsh in origin, from the status name for a servant, derived from the Welsh (g)was, boy. The name development since 1194 (see below) includes the following: Wide Wasun (1195, Somerset), William Was (1210, Cambridge), John Gace (1224 - 1225, Wiltshire) and James Gasse (1568, Suffolk). The modern surname can be found as Wace, Wase, Wass, Gass, Gaze and Gazey, to name but a few. Among the sample recordings in London is the christening of Samuel, son of William and Catherine Gasey on February 28th 1796 at St. Leonards, Shoreditch. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Wase, which was dated 1194, in the "Curia Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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