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Surname Webster - Meaning and Origin

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Delving into the Webster Heritage: A Fascinating Journey with iGENEA DNA Test

Discover the fascinating journey of using iGENEA DNA test to delve into the rich history of the surname 'Webster', revealing remarkable ancestral narratives, connecting with distant relatives, and painting an intricate picture of the past migration patterns.

P. Webster

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Webster: What does the surname Webster mean?

The last name Webster derives from the Old English term ‘webbe’, which means ‘weaver’ and likely referred to someone who wove cloth. During the Middle Ages, weaving was one of the most common professions, so the name was most likely taken from someone’s occupation.

The surname is also linked to ‘web’, an Anglo-Saxon term for a fortification. This could refer to someone who lived near or built one of these fortresses.

Webster is the 19th most common surname in the United States, with more than 800,000 individuals actively using it. People with this name can trace their origins to England and Scotland, but they can also be found in countries across the world today.

Individuals with the surname Webster include famous statesman Daniel Webster, American economist and “Father of the Constitution” John Webster, and Nathaniel Webster, the first mayor of Providence. Merriam-Webster, one of the most popular dictionaries in the world, also takes its namesake from the surname.

Overall, Webster is an interesting name with an Anglo-Saxon origin that has become ubiquitous across the world. This indicates that those with the name are quite a resilient bunch, and are likely to be enterprising and innovative in whatever they do.

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Webster: Where does the name Webster come from?

The last name Webster is widely distributed across most of the English-speaking world and is particularly common in the United Kingdom and the United States. In England, the name is found in greatest numbers in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Greater London, and the West Midlands. In Scotland, it is most common in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeenshire. In the United States, Webster is particularly concentrated in the northeast, with large numbers of families in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont. It is also popular in Wisconsin, Michigan, and North Carolina.

Webster is an early Anglo-Saxon name, derived from the Old English word "webba," which means weaver. In the Medieval era, a number of towns adopted the name as their official title, including the present-day Weston-super-Mare and Wiveliscombe. In addition, many local surnames evolved into more general last names, so there were often multiple individuals and families of that surname within a particular area.

The Webster name has gained further popularity over the centuries due to its association with several famous individuals, including the American lexicographer Noah Webster, the founders of the Webster Brothers dance studio, and Martin Webster, a pioneering British photographer. Today, the name continues to be a popular choice among new parents, so it is likely to remain common in the future.

Variations of the surname Webster

The surname Webster is of English origin and is derived from the pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon phrase “webbestre” which means female weaver. The surname has multiple variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin, which include Webstar, Webstor, Webbstar, Webstarre, Websterre, Webstarr, Websteare, Websteer, Webstor, Webstre, Webster, Wever, Webers, Wevers, Webings, and Wewers.

Webster is the most common variant of the surname and is found mainly in England, North America, Scotland, Ireland, and Australia. The other variants of the surname are primarily found in Scotland and France. Webster can also be spelt as Webstar, Webstor, or Webbstar. Webstarre, Websterre and Webstarr are mainly found in Scotland. Other variants of the same origin, such as Websteare, Websteer, Webstor, Webstre, and Wever, are more common in France.

The surname Webers is a German variant of the surname which is mainly found in Germany and some parts of Europe. The surname Wevers is a Dutch variant of the surname and is commonly found in the Netherlands. The surnames Webings and Wewers are mainly found in Dutch, German, and Scandinavian countries.

All of the online records indicate that the variants of the surname are largely concentrated in the North American and Western European regions. With the arrival of immigrants from Europe to the United States and Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries, the surname has spread even further and is now found in many other countries such as Australia and New Zealand. It is also a popular surname in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Famous people with the name Webster

  • Daniel Webster: United States statesman and renowned orator who served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts and as the United States Secretary of State (1782-1852).
  • John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester: English poet, courtier, and libertine of the Restoration period, the second Earl of Rochester (1647-1680).
  • Noah Webster: American lexicographer, textbook pioneer, spelling reformer, political writer, editor, and prolific author of American English dictionaries (1758-1843).
  • Merriam Webster: American publisher of reference works best known for their dictionaries, the first being A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language (1831).
  • Pete Webster: Scottish footballer, who played as a midfielder for clubs including Swansea City, Dunfermline Athletic, St. Johnstone and Stockport County (1890-1965).
  • Jean Webster: American writer of novels and stories, originally published in popular magazines, that revolved around a young orphan's search for acceptance and belonging (1876-1916).
  • Margaret Webster: American stage actress, director, producer, and writer (1905-1972).
  • Margaret E. Webster: American film actor, director, producer and screenwriter, largely during the mid-19th century (1854-1955).
  • Arthur Webster: English footballer who played as a forward for clubs including Liverpool and Tranmere Rovers (1912-2005).
  • William Webster: American lawyer and judge who served as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and as the US Secretary of Homeland Security (1924-).

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