This name is of Scottish territorial origin from the old lands of Glaister or Glacester in Angus. The component elements of the placename are believed to be the Gaelic "glas" used in a topographical sense to describe both a stream and green grass or foliage, plus "leitir", a hillside. The surname from this source first appears on record in the mid 13th Century, (see below). One, Beel de Glacelester witnessed a charter by Cristina de Valonis circa 1256. A Gilbert de Glassester had a grant of the lands of Edderlings and Cambysenew from David 11 in 1371, and as Gilbertus de Glascestre, he had a grant of all the lands of Glacester and castle of the same in the Sheriffdom of Argyll, (1374). These later forms of the name seem to have been influenced by the common English placename element "cester" from the Old English "Coester", a Roman fort. The forms Glastre and Glastir appear for the first time in the 15th Century: Murthacus Glastre, burgess of Aberdeen, (1444) and Andrew Glastir, (Aberdeen Assize Court Rolls, 1457). On April 15th 1794, William Glaister and Elizabeth Robinson were married in Kirby Fleetham, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Eustace de Glasletter, which was dated 1254, "Register of the Abbey of Aberbrothoc", during the reign of King John Balliol of Scotland, 1292 - 1296. 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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