This interesting name is Anglo-Saxon in origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called "Woodstock" in Oxfordshire. The placename is recorded as "Wudustoc" in the "Anglo-Saxon Laws" of circa 1000, and as "Wudestoke" in the 1123 "Anglo Saxon Chronicles", and means, simply, "the place in the woods". The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "Wudu", wood, with "stoc", often used to mean just "place", but also used to denote an outlying hamlet or dependent settlement. Locational surnames were usually given to the Lord of the Manor, and to those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area. One Robert Woodstock was an early emigrant to the New World, leaving London on the "Matthew", bound for St.Christopher's, in 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Huddle de Wodestok, which was dated 1273, The Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls, during the reign of King Edward I, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.