Recorded as Gloster and Gloucester, this is a medieval English surname. It is locational and originates from the famous city of Gloucester, which in ancient times was the most important port on the western side of the country. Gloucester has also from early medieval times been one of the royal dukedoms, so the name has always been in the forefront of national awareness. The spelling as Gloster is dialectal, but interestingly has been used semi-officially almost as often as the arguably "correct" form of Gloucester.The first known mention of the place name is in the year 313 a.d, during the Roman occupation of England when the place was known as Gleawecestre, the literal translation being "Beautiful camp". The city is recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Glowcestre, whilst the first known recording of the surname also appears in the same register as Durandos de Glouucestre, although the entry is by a different clerk, and hence a different spelling. Locational names are usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes and moved somewhere else, as in the recording of William de Glostria, in the pipe rolls of Oxford in 1242.
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