This unusual name has its origins in the place name Beeston, of which there are two, in Bedfordshire and in Cheshire. The surname became contracted through dialectual influences. The placenames have different derivations, and therefore there are two possible meanings for the locational surname. Beeston in Bedfordshire is recorded as 'Bistone' in the Domesday Book of 1086, and by 1201 as 'Beston'. The name means 'the town where reeds or rushes grew', from the Old English pre 7th century 'Beos-tun'. Beeston in Cheshire probably means 'the stone where commerce took place' from the Old English 'byge' (traffic, commerce) and 'stan' - 'stone'. It is recorded in the Domesday Book as 'Buistane' and in 1282 as 'Bestan'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Beston, Doctor in Theology, Cambridge and Paris which was dated Died 1428 during the reign of King Henry VI, The Founder of Eton, 1422-1461 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.