This very unusual name has its origins in the remote Scottish island of Orkney, where there is a place called Clouston, in Stenness. Earliest recordings of the place name are as 'Cloustath' from the Old Norse 'Klostathr'. Locational names such as this were given to the local lord of the manor, to those who lived there or to those who moved from there to live or work in another village or town. The 'Records of the Earldom of Orkney' cited below also mention one Huchone or Hutcheon Clouchstay and his daughters in 1527 and one George Clouston of that ilk in 1607, which is the first recording of the name in its modern spelling. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Cloustatht which was dated 1500 Records of the Earldom of Orkney during the reign of King James IV of Scotland 1488-1513 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.