SDB Popularity Ranking: 6408

Last name: Albiston

SDB Popularity ranking: 6408

Although there have been attempts by former researchers to link this surname with other names such as Albison and Albion, there seems to be little doubt that "Albiston" stands on its own. It is clearly locational and Anglo-Saxon pre 8th century in origin, and it probably derives from a place called "Alba's tun" or possibly "Alba's denu", both having similar meanings of the farm (tun) or valley (denu) of Alba. The only place in England which seems to precisely fit this description is the village of "Albaston" near Tavistock, in Devonshire. However there is no indication amongst local recordings of any early "Albiston" surname recordings, so this is inconclusive. What is certain is that over the centuries there have been several spellings forms. These commence with "Albasdesden" in London (see below), and this curious spelling suggests that the cleric who recorded it may have had difficulty with an accent from a remote area. Locational surnames were usually given to people who left their original village looking for work. An easy form of identification was for their new associates to call them after the place that they had left. Spelling being problematical and accents being very "thick", often lead to unusual spellings with the first recordings. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from church registers, include Hannah Albeston, on Christmas Day, 1699, at St Giles Cripplegate, London, and Thomas Albiston, at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on September 21st 1736. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Albasdesden, which was dated October 16th 1651, at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, known as "The Great Protector", 1649 - 1658. 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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