Pester History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Pester is an early Norman name that was originally given to a person who used 'an instrument for pounding things in a mortar', 'pestle'. "Probably for a user of this instrument, a compounder of drugs, a spicer." [1]

The name is derived from the Middle English word pestel and the Old French word pestel.

In Normandy the first record of the family was found in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae which listed N. Pestoil there 1180-95. [2]

Early Origins of the Pester family

The surname Pester was first found in Shropshire where Robert Pestel was listed in the Assize Rolls for 1221. A few years later, Nicholas Pestel was listed in the Assize Rolls for Lancashire in 1246. And later again, Symon Pystel was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. Kyn Pestell was listed in the Assize Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1260. [1]

Not withstanding the aforementioned, the family rose to distinction in Leicestershire in early days where both Coat of Arms were recorded. Both are essentially the same with the latter record in 1648 of a William Pestell, a mate of Captain Jomes in a ship of war "descended from an ancient family in the county of Leicester." [3]

Early History of the Pester family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pester research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1115, 1279, 1455, 1487, 1584, 1659 and 1613 are included under the topic Early Pester History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pester Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Pester family name include Pestell, Pestel, Pistol, Pestol, Pestoll, Pistoll, Pestall, Pestal, Pester, Pestor, Pistor and many more.

Early Notables of the Pester family (pre 1700)

Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Pester migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Pester family to immigrate North America:

Pester Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Pester, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637 [4]
  • Humphry Pester, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [4]
  • James Pester, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [4]
Pester Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Wilhelmine Pester, who landed in New York in 1850 [4]
  • Eduard Pester, who arrived in New York in 1850 [4]
  • Curt Pester, aged 5, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Ella Pester, aged 3, who landed in America, in 1893
Pester Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Bertha Pester, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Annie V. Pester, aged 35, who settled in America, in 1910
  • Ernest Frank Pester, aged 20, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1912
  • Elizabeth Sarah Pester, aged 19, who immigrated to America, in 1913

New Zealand Pester migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Pester Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Sarah Pester, (b. 1863), aged Infant, English settler from Devonshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Tiptree" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 20th January 1864, listed as died on the passenger list, may have died on board [5]
  • Mr. Edward Pester, (b. 1830), aged 34, English labourer from Devonshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Tiptree" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 20th January 1864 [5]
  • Mrs. Sarah Pester née Edwards, (b. 1829), aged 34, English settler from Devonshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Tiptree" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 20th January 1864 [5]
  • Mr. Edward Thomas Pester, (b. 1853), aged 9, English settler from Devonshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Tiptree" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 20th January 1864 [5]
  • Mr. William Pester, (b. 1859), aged 5, English settler from Devonshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Tiptree" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 20th January 1864 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Pester (post 1700) +

  • William Frederick Pester (1885-1963), born Friedrich Wilhelm Pester, a German-born American pioneer of hippie lifestyles in California in the first half of the twentieth century, known as "the Hermit of Palm Springs", inspiration the eden ahbez song "Nature Boy", recorded by Nat King Cole and others
  • Laure Monique Pester (b. 1982), professionally known as Lorie, a French singer who has sold over 8 million albums and singles worldwide as of December 2007
  • Paul David Pester (b. 1964), British banker, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TSB Bank from 2013 to 2018

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Bernard L Pester, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [6]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Burke, Sir Bernard, C.B. LL.D The General Armory of England Scotland, Ireland and Wales. London: Harrison, 59, Pall Mall, 1884, Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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