This name is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The original place is believed to have been in Essex where it was recorded as Quernstede and as Questers. The component elements are the old English pre 7th Century "cweorn" meaning a quern, a hand-mill and "stede" a site or place. On October 15th 1609, Thomas Quested married Sara Taylor, at St. Giles, Cripplegate; Sara, daughter of Thomas Quested, was christened on January 6th 1610, at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London; and on September 4th 1616, George, son of Marke Quested, was christened at St. Nicholas, Cole Abbey, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnnes Quested, who married John Tommlyne, which was dated May 19th 1600, St. Katherine by the Tower, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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