- This unusual and interesting surname would seem to be a dialectal variant of the Nottingham region and is one of a group, including writs, Rist, Roast, Roust and Royste, all of whom derived from the Old English "Rust". As "Rust" it was a pre 10th Century baptismal or font name for one with red hair, although originally it may have been a disparaging term for an Anglo-Saxon invader ! The development "links" include such as "Cenwold Rust" recorded in the Old English Pipe Rolls for Kent circa 1016, making "Rust" one of the earliest surnames on record. A later "link" spelling would seem to be "Roste", an example being Thomas Roste christened at St. Giles Church, London in 1607, although as "Reast" it is not recorded there until one Sarah Reast who was, also coincidentally christened at St. Giles, on July 20th 1755. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Reast, which was dated August 12th 1627, a witness at his daughter Alice's, christening at Orston Nottingham, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.