Recorded as Linstead and Linsted, this is an English surname. It is locational from a village called Linstead in the county of Kent, the meaning being "The place (leah) where flaz (lin) was grown". It seems that at sometime in the Middle Ages the village divided into two separate villages now known as Linstead Magna and Linstead Parva or big and small Linstead. It is first recorded as Linstede in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, whilst the surname came some two hundred years later. The first recording is probably that of Richard de Lindested in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Kent in the year 1273.This was the first year of the reign of King Edward 1st, known to history as "The hammer of the Scots". Locational surnames were either given to the lord of the manor and his descendants as may be the case here, or to former inhabitants who (usually) left to find work, and thereafter were identified by being called after their original home. Examples include John de Linstede, given as being the parson of Cawston in Norfolk in 1370, whilst Thomas de Linsteade who presumably was related, being an alderman of the city of Norwich in 1676.
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