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About the study
The purpose of this One-Name Study is to find and record all references to the Plester surname regardless of whether there is any known family connection and irrespective of the country in which the references are found.
From my own research, I know that the surname has been spelt in a number of different ways at different times and my interest therefore extends to the following additional surnames: Plaster, Plastow, Plastowe, Playsted, Playstow, Playstowe, Pleaster, Pleastow, Pleister, Plesster, Plested, Plestedde, Plesters, Plesto, Plestor, Plestow, Plestowe, Plestwo, Pleysted, and Plister.
It has been suggested that the surname is locative and has been linked to Plaistow. On the other hand, the 'er' ending could suggest an occupational origin. The only thing I know for certain is that the surname existed in both England and Prussia in the late 1500s.
Analysis of the first 150 years of GRO Indexes for England & Wales reveals that Plester births were just 5.7 per year. Calculations based upon the 1851 and 1881 census for England and Wales show the density or the Plester surname to be approximately 7 per million of the population.
Distribution of the name
At the time of the 1841 census, the 'Banburyshire' area accounted for 75% of those with the Plester surname, with a further 10% living in London. (Banburyshire is an old term used to describe those parts of Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Warwickshire that came under the economic and social influence of Banbury)