This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and can be either a topographical or a locational surname. If the former, the name, found as 'Blackston(e)', 'Blakeston', 'Blaxton', and 'Bla(c)kiston', denotes residence at or by the black stone, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'blaec', black, with 'stan', stone. Where the surname is locational, it can derive from 'Blackstone Edge' in Lancashire, 'blakeston' in Durham or 'Blaxton' in West Yorkshire. Of these, 'Blackstone Edge' and 'Blaxton' derive from the Old English 'blaecstan', 'black stone', while 'Blakeston' in Durham is recorded as 'Bleikestuna' in circa 1100, and means 'Bleik's settlement', derived from the Old Norse byname 'Bleikr', 'the pale one', with 'tun', the Old English for 'settlement', or 'village'. Locational names were usually given to those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area. The marriage of James Blakestone and Mary Peacocke was recorded in London in 1625. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Blakeston, which was dated 1235, in the Fees Court Rolls of Berkshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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.