This interesting surname, widely recorded in Yorkshire Church Registers from the late 16th Century is of locational origin from a place thus called near Scarborough in the North Riding of Yorkshire. The placename, appearing respectively as Brinnistun in the Domesday Book of 1086, as Bringstun in Early Yorkshire Charters, dated 1091 and as Briningeston in the 1219 Assize Court Rolls of that county, has as its first element the old English pre 7th Century personal name Bryning, plus the old English "tun" a farm or settlement; hence, "Bryning's tun". Burneston, also located in the Yorkshire North Riding, and appearing as Brenningston in the Domesday Book, is named with the same elements, and the surname in some instances, originates from this source. On February 21st 1592 An(n), daughter of Rogeri Burniston, was christened in Ripon, and on March 11th 1594 Wilfryde Burnystone, an infant, was christened there also. The marriage of Margaret Burniston and Robert Bransby took place in Ripley on September 23rd 1627. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Dorithea Burnistone, (christening), which was dated February 17th 1583, Ripon, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.