This interesting and unusual name is of medieval English origin and is an occupational name for a tailor or seamstress. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'seamestre', the feminine form of 'seamere', a tailor. There are several occupational names, which although feminine, were used for both men and women, for example, Baxter and Huxter. In the modern idiom the variant spelling is Simester. The following examples illustrate the name development after 1275 (see below), Alicia Semester (1376, Yorkshire), Julia Semster (1380, Staffordshire) and Margaret Sembster (1381, Yorkshire).Amongst the sample recordings in London are the marriages of Charles Simister and Hannah Horsman on November 11th 1690 at St. James's, Dukes Place, and Ralph Simister and Susanna Simpson on December 15th at St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter le Semester, which was dated 1275, in the Hundred Rolls of Lincoln, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272-1307. 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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