Baster History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman name Baster was originally used for a person who was a child of illegitimate birth but such references are in jest.

Early Origins of the Baster family

The surname Baster was first found in Devon, where they are descended from "Robert Bastard, who held several manors in this county in the reign of William I. For several generations Efford, in the parish of Egg-Buckland, was the seat of this family. " [1]

"Robert Bastard appears in Domesday Book to have had large grants in the county of Devon, and thenceforward his descendants have remained seated in that shire, where they intermarried with the heiresses of Crispin and of Killiowe, in the county of Cornwall, and into the families of Fitz-Stephen, Besilles, Damarell, Gilbert, Reynell, Hele, and Bampfylde. Their seat, for many generations, was at Garston, near Kingsbridge, until, about the end of the seventeenth century, William Bastard, Esq., by marriage with the heiress of Pollexfen, acquired the estate of Kitley, which has since been the chief family residence. " [2]

"Kitley is now the chief seat of the ancient family of Bastard, which claim descent from the Robert Bastard who appears in ' Domesday' as the holder of nine manors. " [3]

"In Norman times illegitimacy was not regarded with the same contempt as now. The Conqueror himself, though illegitimate, not only succeeded to his father's duchy, but frankly avowed himself as a bastard in official writings." [4]

"The church [of West Alvington in Devon] contains some good screen-work in carved oak, and a beautiful monument to a member of the Bastard family, whose ancient seat has been converted into a farmhouse." [5]

"There is a curious local tradition attaching to a little corner of land some acre in extent at Splatt Cove, in Salcombe Harbour [Devon]. It belongs to the Bastard family, and the legend is that their Norman ancestor had command of one of the vessels of the Conqueror's fleet, which was driven by a gale into Salcombe, and that it was upon this very spot the leader and his men landed. The retention of the land by the Bastards is ascribed by the country folk to this historical connection. Mr. Karkeek, however, has shown not only that the legend has no pedigree, but that it is inconsistent with known facts. The name of Robert the Bastard does not occur in the Battle Abbey Roll, and though he is mentioned in 'Domesday,' neither of his Devonshire manors can be connected with Splatt Cove. " [3]

Early History of the Baster family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Baster research. Another 338 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1201, 1273, 1273, 1379, 1566, 1700, 1721, 1779, 1784, 1816, 1832, 1565, 1618, 1598 and 1847 are included under the topic Early Baster History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Baster Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Bastard, Basstard, Bostard, Bosstard, Baisterd, Bestard, Bastert, Basteder and many more.

Early Notables of the Baster family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Bastard (c. 1565-1618) an English clergyman famed for his published English language epigrams. He was born in Blandford Forum, Dorset, England and is best known for seven books of 285...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Baster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Baster migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Baster name or one of its variants:

Baster Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Baster, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1647 [6]
  • Roger Baster, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1666 [6]
Baster Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henrich Baster, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1735 [6]
Baster Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Baster, who arrived in Texas in 1845 [6]


The Baster Motto +

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: Pax potior bello
Motto Translation: Peace preferable to war.


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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