Tester History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Tester family

The surname Tester was first found in Oxfordshire where the name is more often than not, thought to have been derived from an early French baptismal name Testard which is found in the Pipe Rolls of 1131. [1]

Not all of the family emigrated to England as William Testard was listed in Normandy (1180-1195). [2]

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name was somewhat scattered: Henry Testard, Huntingdonshire; Robert Testard, Suffolk and Ralph Testard, Yorkshire. [3]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Willelmus Testard and Johannes Testard.

As if to attest the French influence, one noted author states: "A family of this name in Ballater, Aberdeenshire, are said to be descended from a Frenchman who was 'taster' to Mary, Queen of Scots, whom he accompanied from France. If this is correct the name may be from Ancient French tester, testar, assayer. More likely, however, the name is same as Testard. " [4]

Early History of the Tester family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tester research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1135, 1172, 1230, 1273, 1379, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Tester History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tester Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Testerd, Testart, Testar, Tester, Testard and others.

Early Notables of the Tester family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Tester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Tester Ranking

In the United States, the name Tester is the 10,018th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]


United States Tester migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Tester Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Tester, who arrived in New York in 1842 [6]

Australia Tester migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Tester Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Emily Tester, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1851 [7]
  • John Tester, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1851 [7]
  • George Tester, aged 22, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Adelaide" [8]
  • Mr. William George Tester, (b. 1831), aged 27, English clerk who was convicted in London, England for 14 years for theft, transported aboard the "Edwin Fox" on 24th August 1858, arriving in Western Australia, Australia

New Zealand Tester 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:

Tester Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Tester, (b. 1834), aged 24, British farm labourer travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [9]
  • Miss Emma A. Tester, (b. 1847), aged 23, British general servant travelling from London aboard the ship 'Merope' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 27th October 1870 [9]
  • Laurettam Tester, aged 26, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878 [10]
  • Lillian Emily Tester, aged 6, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878 [10]
  • Edith C. Tester, aged 3, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Tester (post 1700) +

  • William Tester (b. 1960), American short story writer and novelist
  • Ruth Tester (1903-1993), American singer and dancer in Broadway musicals of the 1920s and 1930s
  • Jon Tester (b. 1956), American junior Senator for Montana
  • Lewis "Scan" Tester (1886-1972), English folk and English country musician
  • Desmond Tester (1919-2002), English and Australian film actor and television actor, host and executive
  • Ralph P. Tester, British administrator at Bletchley Park, the British codebreaking station during World War II

HMS Royal Oak
  • Charles Arnold Tester (1913-1939), British Seaman with the Royal Navy Reserve aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [11]


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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)
  7. ^ State Library of South Australia. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) ASIA 1851 from London 12 05 1851 and southampton with Captain Roskell, arrived Port Adelaide on 1-09-1851. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Asia.htm
  8. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ADELAIDE 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/adelaide1852.shtml
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 3rd November 2011). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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