This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of the more familiar Leicester, itself a locational name from Leicester, the county town of Leicestershire. Recorded as "Ligera ceaster" in the Saxon Chartulary, dated 942, and as "Ledecestre" in the Domesday Book of 1086, the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century tribal name "Ligore", dwellers on the River Legra, itself adapted from a British (pre-Roman) river name, with the Olde English "caester", Roman fort, from the Latin "castra", legionary camp. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. The surname development has included: Nicholas de Leycester (Cheshire, 1287), and William Leycetter, noted with Henry Lasiture in the "Register of the Corpus Christi Guild in the City of York", dated 1480 - 1503. In the modern idiom the surname has a number of variant spellings ranging from Leicester, Leycester, Lester and Lestor, to Lessiter, Lisseter, Laister and Lasset(t)er. One Richard Lasseter was noted in the Sussex Wills Records, dated 1550, and on October 28th 1755, William Lassetter and Sarah Holden were married at Lyminster, Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Legrecestra, which was dated 1130, in the "Pipe Rolls of Leicestershire", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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