This surname was of two-fold origin, firstly it was a baptismal name 'the son of Gold or Goldstan'. The name was derived from the Old English name GOLDSTAN. It was also occasionally a locational name 'of Goldstone' a small spot in County Kent (anciently spelt Goldstaneston). Local names usually denoted where the original bearer held his land, and where he actually lived. The earliest of the name on record appears to be GOLSTAN (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Wulfic filius Goldston appears in 1180 in County Essex, and Richard Golstan was documented in 1185, County Essex. Hugh Goldston of the County of Bedford was recorded in 1273. William Goldstan of the County of Somerset was documented during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). Johannes Gulderson of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. During the Middle Ages, when people were unable to read or write, signs were needed for all visual identification. For several centuries city streets in Britain were filled with signs of all kinds, public houses, tradesmen and even private householders found them necessary. This was an age when there were no numbered houses, and an address was a descriptive phrase that made use of a convenient landmark. At this time, coats of arms came into being, for the practical reason that men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Later instances of the name mention Lancelot Addison and Jane Gouldstone, who were married in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1670, and Henry Goldstone married Frances Ford at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1761. Samuel Godson and Hannah Cordery were married in the same church in the year 1764. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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