Recorded in several forms including Wastnage, Wastnidge, Wasnidge, Wastenay, Westnage, Westnedge, Westnidge, Westney and possibly others, this is a surname of early French origins. It probably arrived in England with the troops of William the Conqueror in 1066, but this is not absolutely proven, although seems most likely given that the family were granted estates in several places. The surname is locational from a place called Gastinois, a district south of Paris, towards Orleans, the modern spellings with 'w' replacing 'g' being as a result of dialectal changes. The first name holder for whom proven records definately exist, was Robert de Wastenays. He held estates in the county of Staffordshire in 1165, although it is probable that earlier records may have existed, that would have bridged the gap between the Norman Conquest and this recording a century later. The surname was also much associated with the county of Lincolnshire, although it is possible that this family was a branch of the Staffordshire family. A good example of the early recordings from this county is that William de Westenays in the Pipe Rolls of the city of Lincoln in 1191, whilst William Wastenays was caught in the middle, being recorded in the city of Leicester in 1249.
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