This is an interesting name of English origin and is locational from any of the places so called in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Durham or Northumberland. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "Ceaster", Roman fort, or Latin "Castra", Legionary Camp. During the Middle Ages, when it was becoming more common for people to migrate farther a field to seek work, they often took or were given the name of their place of birth as a means of identification, thus resulting in the wide dispersal of the name. The modern variants are Chaster and Chester, the earliest recording of the name in its present form in Cheshire being, one Elizabeth Chesters, christened in Nantwich on 23rd October 1715. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Cestre, which was dated 1200, Pipe Rolls, Lincolnshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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