This most interesting surname has two possible sources. Firstly, the name is perhaps of Anglo-Norman French origin, and is a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of "costards", a popular variety of large apples so called from their prominent ribs. The name itself derives from the Old French "coste", rib(s), side or flank. Costard itself was also used as a nickname, given to a "round-headed" individual, as in archaic terms it was a slang term for head. In some instances "Coster" may be a Dutch cognomen of "Kuster", which is of German origin, as an occupational name for a sexton or churchwarden, from the German "kuster", from the Late Latin "custor", a guard.The surname itself first appears in the late 13th Century (see below), while other early examples include Emma Costard, in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire in 1273; and Richard Costard, in the Cambridgeshire Hundred Rolls of 1273. Coster is also found in the Scottish surname Costerman. Ann, daughter of Joseph and Alce Coster, was christened on June 30th 1630, at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald Costard, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Gloucestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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