Recorded as Easton, Eston, Easdon and Eastdon, this is an English surname. It is locational from any of the numerous places called Easton or Eastham, for example, in the Isle of Wight, Devonshire, Essex, and Northamptonshire. The general source of the name is the Olde English pre 7th Century elements, "east" meaning to the east (of the village) plus -tun or -ham. The Olde English phrase "be eastan tune" meant the place to the east of the settlement. However there are other meanings, and for instance Easton in Essex derives its name from the Olde English "eg" meaning "island", plus "-stan(as)", stones, whereas the village of Easton Neston in Northamptonshire comes from the Olde English "Eadstanestun" a compound of the elements "ead", meaning prosperity, with "stan", a stone, and "tun", a settlement. Eastham generally originates from Eastham, a village near Chester, in the county of Cheshire, or from Eastham in Worcestershire. The spelling as Easdon or Eastdon are considered to be dialectal transpositions as no such place in either spelling has been identified in the gazetters of the British Isles for the past three cnturies. Locational surnames were usually acquired by those former inhabitants who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The first recorded spellings of the family name are those of Humphrey de Eastham in Norfolk in 1265, whilst John de Eston, appears in the Court Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1299. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax.