This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the ancient city of Worcester in Worcestershire. The place is recorded in the Saxon Chronicles as "Uueogorna ceastre" in 889, and as "Wigraceaster" in 904, and appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Wirecestre". The city is named from the addition of the Old English pre 7th Century "ceaster", Roman fort, from the Latin "castra", legionary camp, to an ancient British (pre-Roman) tribal, name of uncertain origin, the "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". The development of the surname from this source includes William de Worcester (1290, Staffordshire), Reynold Woster (1567, London), and Alice Wooster (1658, ibid.). The modern surname can be found as Worcester, Worster, Wooster and Wostear. Among the recordings of the name in London is that of the marriage of Thomas Worster and Grace Winnington at St. Katherine by the Tower on February 28th 1688. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Wircestr, which was dated 1180, The Cambridgeshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, "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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