This is usually a medieval English occupational name for a brewer - one who used malt. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century mealt, plus the Anglo-Saxon suffix "er" to imply one who worked or lived at a particular place. It is however possible that some name holders do derive from the French habitational nickname "Malle Terre" which translates literally as "The Bad Lands", and would have referred to a tenant or even owner of such a place. The "modern" spellings of the name include Moulster, Mulster and Maltster, although as shown below the original recording was as Malter(e). Examples of the recordings include Ralph de Maleterr in the Rolls of Northumberland for 1327, whilst on September 15th 1676, Ann Moulster married Robert Brayner at the famous Church of St. Mary Le Bone, London, and on May 12th 1681, William Moulster was christened at St. Dunstan's Church, Stepney. The latter recordings were both in the reign of Charles 11, "The Merry Monarch" (1660 - 1685). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Le Maltere, which was dated 1319, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon" 1307 - 1327. 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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