This uncommon and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Bedminster in Somerset, now a district to the south of the city of Bristol. The place is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Beiminstre" and "Betministra", and in the Somersetshire Pipe Rolls of 1194 as "Bedministr". The name means "Beda's minster or church", derived from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Beda", a derivative of "bed", prayer, with "mynster", minster church. Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the local manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The name was frequently subject to dialectal change and scribal error, as is seen by the first recording, below, representing a phonetic spelling of the spoken name, also found as "Bimister". In London, on Samuel Bedminster married Elizabeth Edwards at St. Leonards, Shoreditch, on August 6th 1827. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Bemister (marriage to Elizabeth Brixsye), which was dated September 22nd 1562, Ringwood, Hampshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.
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