Recorded in several spelling forms including Malter, Malsher, and Maltster, this is an English medieval surname. There are two possible origins, quite removed from each other. The first is occupational and a derivatation of the pre 7th century Olde English word "mealt" meaning malt. As such it was a metonymic for a malter as in the early recording of Peter le Maltetre of the county of Middlesex in the year 1277. The second possible orogin is from the pre 10th century Olde French word "maleterre" meaning poor or swampy ground, and hence describing one who lived at such a place. An early example is that of Ralph de Maleterr of Northumberland in 1211. Other recordings showing the different developments of the surname include those of Robert le Maltster in the rolls of the county of Yorkshire in 1279, and John le Malter of Colchester, in Essex, and dated 1319. Robert Malcher married Ann Slany at the church of St Martin Orgar in the city of London, on April 16th 1592, whilst Robart Malsher, who, given the erratic spelling of the period may have been the same person, was a christening witness at the church of St Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, on February 22nd 1596. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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