The surname of GUNSTONE was of Norse origin GUNN-ARR an old West Scandinavian name meaning 'battle'. The first of the name connected with Caithness, Gunii, son of Olav, a Caithness chief of the 12th century. They were a war-like clan and occupied mainly the Highland portions of Caithness. The connection with the county as a distinct clan ended about the year 1619. The name is also spelt GUNSTONE, GUNSON, GUNN and GUNNE. Early records of this name mention a pension that was paid to John, son of Gunn, by the provost of Rutherglen in 1327. In 1329, John, son of Gyn and nine other men were paid for rigging, and sent to Tarbert. Robert Gunn was deacon of Craft in Stirling, in the year 1585. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that it became a general practice amongst all people.
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