This very interesting surname recorded as Minster and Minister, is early medieval English. It is either residential and describes a person who lived by a minster, as shown inthe first two recordings below, or possibly in a few cases, it may have described a minister, but if so as a nickname. In the early travelling theatres of the Middle Ages actors became known for the parts they played. A good example is King, the 37th most popular surname in the English listings. Almost every early play had a king in it somewhere, and hence the popularity of the surname. Abbot and Bishop were similarly popular, but Minister is a more general term, and lacked the same ethos. This surname is first recorded in the Close Rolls for the city of London in 1261 with that of Thomas de Mynistre, and describing a man called Thomas who lived by what was then the Minster in the West, and later became the city of Westminster in its own right. Other examples of recordings are those of Haldanus Minister of the county of Norfolk in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of 1273, and much later the recording of Thomas Minster. He married Ellen Pritchard at St George chapel, Hanover Square, city of Westminster in 1768.
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