This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of the locational surname Kilminster, which derives from the place called Kidderminster in Worcestershire. The placename was recorded as "Kedeleministre" in 1155, and is so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Cydela", of uncertain etymology, and the Olde English "mynster", meaning "monastery church", from the Latin "monasterium". 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, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace.The original placename has generated a number of variant surnames, some of them showing the typical Middle English corruption of the suffix "-minster" to "-mister" and "-master", as in Kilmister, Killmaster and Killimister. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of Mary Kilminster and John Turner on May 18th 1723, at St. Mary le Bow. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Barchester Kilmaster, which was dated April 5th 1668, marriage to Alice Tauthery, at St. James, Duke's Place, London, 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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