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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Lester family come from? What is the English Lester family crest and coat of arms? When did the Lester family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Lester family history?

Of all the Anglo-Saxon names to come from Britain, Lester is one of the most ancient. The name is a result of the original family having lived in Leicester, in Leicestershire. Leicester is the capital of the county and its name is derived from the Old English element ceaster, which meant "Roman town."

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The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Lester has been spelled many different ways, including Leycester, Leicester, Leister, Lester and others.

First found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lester research. Another 215 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1586, 1st , 1614 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Lester History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 41 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Lesters to arrive in North America:

Lester Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Edward Lester, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620
  • James Lester settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Andrew Lester, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1641
  • Ralph Lester settled in Virginia in 1643
  • Ralph Lester, who arrived in Virginia in 1643


Lester Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Richd Lester, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • William Lester, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • George Lester settled in Charles Town, South Carolina, in 1767
  • Francis Lester, aged 18, arrived in Maryland in 1774

Lester Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Anne Lester, who landed in New York, NY in 1815
  • Richard Albert Lester, who landed in Schuyler County, Illinois in 1848
  • N Lester, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • P Lester, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • E Lester, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


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  • Richard Lester (b. 1932), British-based two-time BAFTA nominated film director famous for his work with The Beatles
  • Hospital Apprentice First Class Fred Faulkner Lester, American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • John Lester (1871-1969), American cricketer
  • Johnathan Tyler "Jon" Lester (b. 1984), Major League Baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox
  • Sonny Lester (b. 1924), Grammy-award winning music producer from New York City, recipient of the Purple Heart
  • Major-General James Allan Lester (1891-1958), American Commanding General San Francisco Port of Embarkation (1948)
  • Jack Lester (b. 1975), former professional English footballer
  • Mr. James Lester (d. 1912), aged 39, English Third Class passenger from West Bromwich, Staffordshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Alexander Lester, Canadian engineer
  • Adrian Lester (b. 1968), British actor

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  • Lester, Neal, and Allied Families by Shirley Wimpey Ward.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Pro rege et patria
Motto Translation: For King and country.

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  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The Lester Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Lester Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 February 2014 at 10:06.

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