This is a very interesting and rare surname which is regarded as English and French, although ultimately of Latin (Roman) origins. It derives from the verb legere meaning to write, and was probably introduced into the British Isles at or after the famous Norman-French Conquest of England in 1066. For reasons which are not clear 'legister' never posed a threat to clark, clarke, clerk or clerke as a medieval occupation and later surname, and it is rarely found either in the church registers after 1535 when these were introduced by the infamous King Henry V111th (1510 - 1547) or in the earlier pipe rolls and tax registers. These wwere the original means of personal registration through land and property ownership. If you did not own property, you were a non-person! A legister was a man of letters so whilst he may have been a simple clerk it is more likely that he was a lawyer. If the latter it is even more surprising that the surname is so rare given the growth rate in the number of 'lawyers' over the following centuries. The earliest known recording anywhere is that of Robert Legister in the Tax Subsidy rolls of the county of Lincolnshire in the year 1332, in the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 1327 - 1377.
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