This rare surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a dialectal variant of the locational name Ingestre, from the place so called in Staffordshire, first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "In Gestreon"; in the Close Rolls of 1242 as "Ingerstrent"; and in the Fees of 1242 as either "Ingestret" or "Ingestre". The derivation of the second element is the Olde English pre 7th Century "gestreon", meaning gain or property, used in this instance in some special topographical sense, with the first element "ing" corresponding to the Greek "engkhos", a lance, in this sense, a peak or hill; hence, "property on the hill".Locational surnames were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Catherine Inkster on October 26th 1760, at St. George in the East, Stepney, and the marriage of Grace Inkster and John Harris on September 13th 1680, at St. Katherine by the Tower. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Grace Engstere, which was dated February 24th 1662, recorded at Stoke Damerel, Devonshire, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as "The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. 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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