This improbable surname seems almost Scottish or North Eastern, but is in fact of noble origins from East Anglia (see below). It derives from the Olde English pre 10th century "gehaeg" which was dialectally transmuted to Weysthagh in the 13th century, Peter de Weysthagh being recorded in Sussex in 1292. The name translates as being resident at a western part of the village or even county, or from some place such as "Westhay" in Northamptonshire. The name is found in several forms including Westie, Westy, Wastie and Wasty, although all are quite rare, however from the year 1700 the surname as Wastie seem to have had an epicentre in the town of Eynsham in Oxfordshire. Certainly after Elinar Wasty was recorded there in 1700, the exact date is not known, the recordings came thick and fast. Curiously the name also appears in London at much the sametime, suggesting that the village of Westhay was "cleared" under the Enclosure Acts, and the inhabitants driven off by their landlords. When this happened they fled taking as there surname, the name of their former village. Other recordings include Elizabeth Wastie who married George Bloisse at Eynsham in 1734, again no actual date given, and (another) Elizabeth Wastie christened at the same place on November 16th 1746. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrew de Westheie, which was dated 1185, in the Knight Templar (Crusader) Roll for Essex, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The church builder," 1154 - 1189. 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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