This is an occupational surname for a brewer of beer or ale, and is of Anglo-Saxon origin. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century verb 'breowan', to brew, and was in Middle English 'brewere', a brewer. Until the 13th Century, the name 'Brewster' was the feminine equivalent of 'Brewer', although after that date the term was used equally for male and female brewers. Roger Breuestere, (Suffolk, 1221), and Emma le Breustere, (The Hundred Rolls of Berkshire, 1279). On April 2nd 1553 Edward Brwster, an infant, was christened in St. Andrew's, Enfield, London. an interesting namebearer was William Brewster (1560 - 1644) of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, who sailed for Virginia aboard the Mayflower in 1620, and founded New Plymouth, (New England), where he worked as a teacher and preacher. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Briwerra, which was dated 1192, Ancient Charter of Hampshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, 'The Lionheart', 1189 - 1199. 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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