This is one of a group of surnames of early German (Anglo-Saxon) origins which were created from the habitual use of job descriptive nicknames. In this case the origination lies in the Old German word 'Veizet' which denoted a 'good eater'. However the eater in this case may well have served the same function as the well known 'Beefeater'- a taster of food, although it is possible that the word referred to one who prepared meals. What is certain is that the surname has been in England for a long time, and is now completely native. It has been suggested that as the name is prominently recorded mainly on the East Coast from Lincoln to North Yorkshire, that the original nameholders were 17th century engineers brought in to supervise the drainage programmes of the period. This is possible, but then so is an association with the Huguenots, but we have no definitive proof in either case. Examples of the name recording include Raph Feaster, a christening witness at St Dunstans Church, Stepney, on January 10th 1622, Elizabeth Fesiter of Bolton on Dearne, Yorkshire on January 23rd 1605, and John Feaster of Eston, North Yorkshire, on March 19th 1727. The name is particularly well recorded in Scarborough, Fylingdales, Saltburn, and Whitby. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Olyver Fester, which was dated May 23rd, 1560, christened at St Andrews Church, Holborn, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017