Recorded throughout Europe in a large number of spelling including Pastor (English) Pasteur (French) Pastore (Italy), Pastorius or Schaefer (German), Pasternak, Pasternack and Pasticzynk (Polish, Ukrainian, Russian), this is a status surname. Whether it refers to a 'pastor' as in the priestly sense, or to 'pastor' in the secular sense of 'one who took care of something', or whether it refers to one who played the part of a pastor or father in the medieval plays, is open to question. The early records of England which are effectively the earliest surname records anywhere in the world refer to such examples as: Gerdhardus Pastor, in the register of the Abbey of Holme, in the county of Norfolk in the year 1140, where he is clearly a herdsman in charge of the sheep belonging to the abbey. Dionisius Pastor in the Assize rolls of the county of Kent, may have been a herdsman, but may also have been an actor. Acting was regarded by the authorities as hardly less than a criminal activity, whose members were to be persecuted at every opportunity! Other examples are those of Heinrich Pastor of Wollstadt, Germany, in 1366, and Viktor Pastorle of Frankfurt, Germany, in 1718.
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