This surname of AKESTER is of two-fold origin it was a locational name 'of Acaster Malbis and Acaster Selby' two places in the North Riding of Yorkshire. In the middle ages it was customary for a man to be named after the village where he lived, or held his land. This name identified his whole family and followed him wherever he moved. The name, which was derived from the Old English word Ceaster, was also an occupational name, meaning the warden of a castle. The name was originally of Norman origin, and brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention Acastre (without surname) listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. Warin Castellan documented in the year 1311 in County Yorkshire. Edward Castellan was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Acaster of Lancashire, was listed in the Wills at Chester in the year 1650. Mary Acaster and Edward Williams were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1802. Between the 11th and 15th centuries, it became popular for surnames to be assumed. Those of noble birth recognized that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification.
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