First found in Dauphiné, where this distinguished family was seated since ancient times.Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Humphrey Rastell who settled in Maine in 1624; Henry Rastell, aged 30; who settled in Virginia in 1635;
The surname of RAST was a French metonymic occupational name for someone who used or made rakes, or a nickname for a tall, thin man. The name was rendered in medieval documents in the Latin form RASTELLUM. The name is also spelt RASTELL, RASTEL, RATHEAU, RASTE and RASTELLI. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen.
As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognize today. A notable member of the name was John RASTELL (1475-1536) the English printer, lawyer and dramatist, born in Coventry, England. He was called to the bar and in 1510 set up his own printing press. He was married to the sister of Sir Thomas More, and he printed More's 'Life of Pico' and many law books. An ingenious designer of pageants, he presented several of them at court. His expedition to found a settlement in the 'New Found Lands' in 1517, came to nothing through mutiny on his ship. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
Spelling variations of this family name include: Durastel, de Rastel, Durastelle, Lerostel, Lerastel, Leraustell, Rastel, Rostelle, Roustel, Rostel, Durostel, Durostelle, Duroustel, Duroustell, Duroustelle, Durasstel, Durasstelle, Duraustel, Duraustell, Duraustelle, Derostel, Derostelle, Deroustel, Deroustelle, Derasstel, Derasstelle, Derastelle, Derastel, Deraustell, Deraustelle, Lerostelle, Leroustel, Leroustelle, Lerasstel, Lerasstelle, Lerastelle, Leraustel, Leraustelle, Roustell, Roustelle, Rasstel, Rasstelle, Rastelle, Raustel, Raustell, Raustelle, Rostal, Rostalle, Durostal and many more.
Rast Homested Dixie, GA.
Brooks County between Boston & Quitman
Rast Family 1906
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