This surname JESTY was an occupational name 'the jester' the professional fool or jester in attendance on a king or baron. The name was derived from the Old French word GESTOUR, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The earliest of the name on record appears to be John Gestour, who was documented in 1377 in London. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. Later instances of the name mention Thomas Straford and Sarah Jester who were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1665, and Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher Jester was baptised at the same church in 1666. 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according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans.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. A later instance mentions George Groom and Lydia Jester who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1802. The name is also spelt Jester and Jestie.
At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and 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 flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.
No arms recorded
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