This is a Dutch-German occupational surname for a "Maker of Pilches", a leather garment similar in conception to the modern sheepskin coat. The word derives originally from the Latin "pellicia", translating as a skin or hide. The English version of the name is "Pilcher", and this surname is of Kentish origins. There are many variant spellings in the German, these include Peltzer, Beltzner, Peltz, Pelz, Belz, although Pelser is the only Dutch original spelling. The name is recorded heraldically at Aix la Chappelle, Aachen as Pelser of Berensberg, and also as Pelzer of Cologne, the latter being appropriately a silver sheep on a black field. The name has long been recorded in England as Palser, Pelser, Pelzer, Pallsher, Palsoe and is probably of Huguenot origins. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Palsar (as spelt), which was dated July 18th 1628, a witness at St. Katherines by the Wardrobe, London, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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