This interesting name is of Old Germanic origin, and derives from the Middle High German "duster", sombre, dark, gloomy, used as a nickname to describe someone thought to be a particularly serious and introspective nature. Many modern surnames have evolved from the habitual use of nicknames in the medieval period of surname creation; nicknames were given for a variety of reasons, such as those referring to physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, habits of dress, Duester, also found as Duest and Dueste, first appears in England in the 17th Century, probably introduced by German merchants, sailors, or mercenaries. One Sussana Duest was christened at St. Katherine's Creechurch, London, on December 14th 1679. The marriage of Rembold Duester and Anna Sophia Jaeger was recorded at Dusseldorf, in the Rhineland, Germany, on February 10th 1697. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maria Duester (marriage to Martin Rapsilber), which was dated December 1599, Delitzsch, Saxony, Germany, during the reign of King Rudolf 11, "Holy Roman Emperor", 1576 - 1612. 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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