Recorded in several spellings and found in Russia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Serbia, this is a patronymic surname of pre 7th century Russian origins. However spelt it derives from 'Nester', an Ancient Greek name for the wise hero in Homer's Illiad. Whilst the meaning is uncertain it is probably cognate with the the Greek word 'neisthai' meaning to return (in one piece!). It is said to have been a name borne by a 3rd century bishop of Pamphilia, who enjoyed a certain popularity with members of the Greek Orthodox church, which was also the popular Christian church of Russia and the Balkan countries. The most likely explanation for the popular development of the surname is that it was a Crusader or Knight Templar introduction into Europe in the 12th century. At this time Greece was used as the launching point for the various expeditions to try to free the Holy Land from the Muslims. These crusades drew their support from the whole of the Christian world, although all were unsuccessful. This did not however prevent returning knights from naming their children with Biblical or Greek names. This is almost certainly one of the them. The varied spellings include Nesterov, Nesterin, Nestorovic, Nesthoruk, Nestoric, Neskovic and Nesic.
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