Easterbrook - what does Easterbrook surname mean?

Recorded as Easterbrook, Easterbrooke, Estabrook, and others, this is an English rediential surname. It originally described either a person who lived at a farm or house to the east of a brook, or possibly who came from a place called Eastbrook or similar. The derivation is from the pre 7th Century phrase `be eastan broce`, to the east of the brook. Topographical surnames of this type were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Early examples of the surname include Alan bi Estebrouk and Matilda Estbrok, both recorded in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of the county of Sussex in 1327. Later church registers of the city of London include the christening of John Easterbrooke, on October 19th 1651 at St. Dunstan`s, Stepney, and the marriage of Robert Eastabrook and Elizabeth Howell, also at St. Dunstan`s, on January 2nd 1725. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Estebroke, which was dated 1296, in the `Subsidy Rolls of Sussex`, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as `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.

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