This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from the ancient city of Worcester, in Worcestershire. The placename is recorded in the Saxon Chronicles as "Uueogorna ceastre" (889) and as "Wigraceaster" (904), and appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Wirecestre". The city is named from the addition of the Olde English pre 7th Century "ceaster", Roman fort, from the Latin "castra", legionary camp, to an ancient British (pre Roman) tribal name of uncertain origin, "Wigoran" or "Weogoran". The tribal name is thought to be derived from a river name identical with the Wyre in Lancashire, which means "winding river". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century (see below) and can be found as Worcester, Worster, Wooster and Wostear. Wiliam de Worcester was witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire (1290). Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of John, son of Isaack and Rebeckah Worcester, on November 8th 1635 at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney; and the christening of Peter, son of John and Jane Wooster, on November 3rd 1639 at the same place. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a silver shield, with a black castle between eight torteaux, the Crest being a red griffin segreant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Wircestr, which was dated 1180, in the "Pipe Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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