This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational surname deriving from Leicester, the county town of Leicestershire. The placename is recorded in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicles" of 942 as "Ligora Ceaster", and in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Ledecestre", the derivation being from the Olde English pre 7th Century tribal name "Ligore", meaning "dwellers on the river Legra" with "Ceaster" a Roman fort, from the Latin "Castra", legionary camp. The development of the surname has included Nicholas de Leycester (1286, Cheshire), William Leycetter (1480, Yorkshire), Henry Lasisture (1503, ibid.) and Richard Lasseter (1550, Sussex). The Parish Registers of Suffolk record one Nicholas Lesseter in 1603. The modern surname can be found in forms as varied as "Leicester, Lestor, Lesseter and Laister". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo de Legrecestra, which was dated 1130, in the Leicestershire Pipe Rolls, 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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