This interesting surname recorded in the spellings of Last, Laste, and Lasterur, is of Medieval English origins. It has two possible origins, but in either case they are occupational. The first is a metonymic or nickname for a maker of shoe lasts, although the name may describe the shoemaker himself. If so the derivation is from the ancient word "lest" which originally described a wooden mould in the shape of the foot. This word may itself have descended from the Olde English 'laessa', meaning 'small'.The second possibility is that the name derives from the early German, and hence Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century 'last', meaning a load or burden. In this case the word would probably describe a carter or porter, one who moved goods. Amongst the very earliest of all recordings is that of 'Thomas le Lastur' in the 1275 Assize Court Rolls of the county of Somerset. This form has the Anglo-Saxon suffix 'er', which describes either a worker or maker, but may in some cases describe a person, one who lives at a particular place. An example of such as surname is 'Brooker', or one who lived by a brook. Another example, this time of a 'lost' surname is that of Hugo Lastemaker. This gentleman was recorded in 1395 in the charters of the city of Nottingham. There can be little doubt as to his occupation. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Last, which was dated 1385, in the Assize Court rolls of the county of Suffolk, during the reign of King Richard II, known as 'Richard of Bordeaux', 1377 - 1399. 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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