This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from places called Eastcott in Middlesex and Wiltshire, or from Eastcotts in Bedfordshire, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "east" meaning east, plus "cot", cottage. During the Middle Ages when it was increasingly common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work further afield, the custom developed that they would adopt the placename as a means of identification. The surname dates back to the late 12th Century (see below). The surname may also be a topographical name for someone who lived at the east cottage, deriving from the Olde English "east" and "cot", as before. Modern variants of the name are Eastcourt, Escot, Escott and Estcourt. Recordings include Robert atte Estcote (1327), in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex. London Church Records list the marriage of Thomas Eascott to Joyce Rawson, on May 17th 1588 at St. Lawrence Jewry, and the christening of Samuel George Eastcott on May 31st 1767 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is black, three silver escallops. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gundwinus de Estcota, which was dated 1190, in the "Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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.