This notable surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, inspiring twenty entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography" and having no less that thirty-eight Coats of Arms, derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "west", west, with "tun", enclosure, settlement, and was originally given either as a locational name to someone from any of the various places in England and Scotland named with the above elements, or as a topographical name denoting residence on a farm to the west of a village. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. This particular surname is distinguished by being first recorded in the Domesday Book (see below). Other early recordings include: Adam de la Weston (Worcestershire, 1275), William de Westone (Scotland, 1296) and Alan ate Weston (Sussex, 1327). Sir Richard Weston (1466 - 1542), was knight of the body to Henry V111 from 1516, and under-treasurer of England, 1528 - 1542. Another Richard Weston, knighted in 1622, was an eminent agriculturist who introduced canal locks and crop rotation. One of the earliest Coats of Arms granted to the family circa 1327, is black shield, thereon a silver eagle displayed and a red label. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwinus de Westune, which was dated 1086, in the "Domesday Book of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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