The surname of GASKEN was a locational name 'of Gascony' a spot in Normandy, France. The name of the region derived from that of the Basques, who are found close by and they were first named in Roman sources as Vascones. The name was brought to England with the Norman Conqueror in 1066. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conqueror. It is known as the Domesday book. Early records of the name mention William de Gasconia, during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Johannes Gascoigne, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. 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.
A notable bearer of the name was George Gascoigne (1525-1577) the English dramatist and poet, born in Cardington in Bedfordshire. He studied at Trinity College in Cambridge, entered Gray's Inn, wrote poems, and sat in Parliament for Bedford, but was disinherited for his extravagance. He married an elderly lady to improve his finances, but still persecuted by creditors, he fled to Holland and served under the Prince of Orange. He was taken prisoner by a Spanish force, and was detained for four months. He then came home and settled in Walthamstow, where he collected and published his poems. To this zealous experimenter, English literature owes a deep debt, although much of his work was hopelessly tedious.
Baptised. Dorothye Gascoigne, at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1624.
John Gascoyne married Sarah Johnson, in London in the year of 1696.
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