This name, which can be found in the three variant forms, Edwardson, Edwards and Edwardes, is the patronymic form of the male personal name 'Edward'. The given name is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and is composed of the Old English pre 7th Century elements 'ead', prosperity, fortune, with 'ward, weard', guard or guardian. It is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the Latinized forms of Eaduuardus and Aeduuardus, while Edward, the Middle English development, is first recorded in the 1206 Curia Rolls of Somerset, as a given name, and in the 1219 Curia Rolls of Suffolk, appears first as a surname, in the recording of one William Edward. The personal name was extremely popular, both in England and on the Continent, partly due to the fame of the two canonized kings of England, Edward the Martyr (962-979) and Edward the Confessor (1004-1066), and the surname was thus correspondingly widespread, most frequently in the patronymic forms meaning 'son of Edward'. One John Edwardson was an early emigrant to the New World, leaving London on the 'Thomas and John' in June 1635, bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Edwardson, which was dated 1518, Ancient Charters of Kent, during the reign of King Henry V111, 'Good King Hal', 1509-1547. 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.