This interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is mainly found in northern England or Scotland. Firstly, the surname may be metronymic, for the "son of Eda", a Middle English short form of the female given name "Edith", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Eadgyth", meaning "prosperous war". The surname may also be patronymic from a pet form of the male given name "Adam", which was the name of the first man, according to the Book of Genesis. The name is said to mean "red earth", of which God formed him, from the Hebrew "adama", earth. The surname was first found as Ayson, then Esson, and in the modern idiom has many variant spellings including: Eason, Easom, Eassom, Easun, Easson and Esson. Walter Ayson held sasine of a tenement in St. Mary's Aisle, Stirling (1471). The land of Alexander Aysone is mentioned in 1491, and in 1594 - 1595 he is referred to as Sande Ason and Alexander Assone. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Richard Esom and Margaret Pey on April 13th 1589, at Royston, Yorkshire; the christening of Anna, daughter of Georgij Eason, on February 21st 1636, at Crofton, Yorkshire; and the christening of Thomas, son of Thomas and Jane Eassom, on April 20th 1772, at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Ayson, which was dated 1392, in the "Acts of the parliaments of Scotland", during the reign of King Robert 111 of Scotland, 1390 - 1406. 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.