This is a late medieval surname of some considerable contradictions. The name spelling and localised origins suggest that it is job descriptive deriving from the Old French "Glaner", a term for one who gathered the useful remnants of the harvest after the reaping had been carried out. The surname spellings are usually recorded as Glenister or Glanister, the latter being a slightly later form as shown below.It has been suggested that some modern name holders derive from the French Huguenot "Geneste", the modern form being a dialectal transposition, the intrusive "l" being added in 1764 to disguise the French origins.It is known that one Louis Genest fled from France around 1698 and fought with William of Orange at the Battle of The Boyne in 1690, subsequently obtaining land grants in Ireland. True or not, it is an interesting story.The name recordings include Thomas Glenister, christened at St. Mary's, Whitechapel, Stepney, London, on November 18th 1627, and who was probably grandson of the first name holder below. On May 24th 1681, Eliza Glanester married Chester Napier at St James Church, Dukes Place, London, whilst other recordings are those of Guy Glanester who married Elizabeth Petty by civil licence in London on December 18th 1683, and Edward Glanester, christened at St James Church, Clerkenwell on February 27th 1698. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Glenister, which was dated July 4th 1604, marriage to Martha Allin, at St. Dunstan's Church, Stepney, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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