This interesting surname, of early medieval English origin with variant spellings Coursor, Corzor, Coarser, Corser, Corsor, Cosser, Corsar and Cossar, is an occupational name for a jobber or horse-dealer, deriving from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "corser". Job-descriptive surnames, such as this, originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Mathew, son of John Corser, on September 21st 1563, at St. James', Garlickhithe; the christening of his sister, Johanne, on May 5th 1566, also at St. James', Garlickhithe; and the christening of John, son of John Corser, on June 1st 1578, at St. Peter's, Cornhill. One William Corser, sailed to the Barbados aboard the ship "Hopewell" in February 1634; he was one of the earliest bearers of the surname to settle in the New World Colonies. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anketill le Corser, which was dated 1227, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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