Type Surname (from location)
Other Forms FormsHESTITONA, HENGSTETON, HINXTON, HINXSTONE, HINGESTONE, HINGESTON, HENKESTON
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Meaning & History
The distribution of the Hingston surname appears to be based around the South Hams area of Devon. The English Place Name Society volumes for Devon give the best indication of the source of the name. For the farm name HINGSTON in Bigbury, they quote HYNDESTAN (1238), HYNDESTANE (1244), HYNDESTON, HENDESTON (1427) and HENGESTON (1489). The etymology is suggested of "Hinds' stone", perhaps some ancient boundary marker. About a mile away from this farm is another, HINGSTON BOROUGH, in Aveton Gifford. There is also a HINGSTON DOWN, near Moretonhampstead, where the derivation is given as HENGESDON (1333), meaning "Stallions Hill" which they compare with HINGSTON DOWN (Cornwall) which comes from HENGESTES DUNE (835 - Anglo Saxon Chronicle). The village of HINXTON in Cambridgeshire is given the etymology of "Hengest's Farm", with many variations in spelling over the centuries, including HESTITONA, HENGSTETON, HINXTON, HINXSTONE, HINGESTONE, HINGESTON, HENKESTON. A link between the place name and the personal name is provided by the "de HYNDESTON" family in the Aveton Gifford/Bigbury area. Stephen de Hyndeston was witness to a Lease for the Manor of Ashford (in Aveton Gifford Parish), in 1283. He was quoted as living at IDSTON by Shaw in his "History of the Parish of Aveton Giffard" (published in the 1960s), but it is not clear whether Shaw was simply inferring that Stephen lived at Idston, or whether he had evidence for it. By 1622, there were people with the modern spelling (HINGSTON) living in Aveton Gifford (and elsewhere in the South Hams). In the Devon and Cornwall Record Society Collection in Exeter there is a tree (drawn up in 1927) based clearly on the will of one Robert Hingston who died in 1488, which quotes both the names Hingston and Hyddeston within the same family. It is not clear whether the will still exists, as many Devon wills were destroyed in the wartime bombing of Exeter.