Oyster History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Oyster is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in the area of the town or village that was in the east. The surname originated in the southern counties of Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Essex.

However, another source claims the name could have been Norman in origin as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae list Amelot Best, or D'Est, was from Normandy in 1195. [1]

Early Origins of the Oyster family

The surname Oyster was first found in Essex where they held a family seat from very early times in the town of Colchester. One of the first records of the name was Amelot Best, or D'Est, in Normandy in 1195. [1] But by the 13th century, the name was scattered throughout Britain with various spellings. The Hunderdorum Rolls of 1273 lists: Robert del Est in Cambridgeshire; Richard Est in Lincolnshire; and Geoffrey Est and Emma ate Estend in Oxfordshire. [2]

There were two baronetcies created for persons with the surname East. The first was for William East of Hall Place who was High Sheriff of Berkshire in 1766. That title became extinct in 1828 with the death of the 2nd Baronet. The second was Edward Hyde East of Calcutta, India in 1823. He was Member of Parliament for Great Bedwyn (1792-1796) and Winchester (1823-1831.) And that title became extinct upon the death of the 2nd Baronet in 1878.

Through the female side Mary, daughter of Sir William East, 1st Baronet, of Hall Place married Sir East George Clayton to become baronets of Hall Place, Maidenhead in 1838.

Early History of the Oyster family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oyster research. Another 192 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1196, 1297, 1200, 1300, 1675, 1776, 1540, 1608, 1565, 1540, 1608, 1602, 1696, 1696, 1745 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Oyster History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oyster Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Oyster are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Oyster include: East, Easte, Est, Eyst, Eyste and others.

Early Notables of the Oyster family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas East (1540?-1608?), the English printer and music publisher who was made a freeman of the Stationers' Company on 6 Dec. 1565. Thomas East (also spelt Est, Este, and Easte) (1540?-1608?), was an English printer specializing in music printing. He is generally supposed to have been...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oyster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Oyster migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Oyster or a variant listed above:

Oyster Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Michal Oyster, who landed in North Carolina in 1748 [3]
  • Peter Oyster, who arrived in North Carolina in 1748 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Oyster (post 1700) +

  • David Oyster, American documentary writer, known for his Flight of the Whooping Crane (1984)
  • Gretchen Oyster, American director, known for Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) and Lonely Hearts (2006)
  • David Fairfax Oyster Jr. (b. 1945), American producer and director


The Oyster 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: J'avance
Motto Translation: I advance.


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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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