When William Webster was born in 1794, in Radbourne, Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom, his father, John Webster, was 42 and his mother, Elizabeth Hallam, was 37.
English and Scottish: occupational name for a weaver, from Middle English webbester ‘weaver’ (Old English webbestre ‘female weaver’). By the time of surname formation, the gender distinction of the -stre suffix had almost completely disappeared. Compare Webb , Webber , and Weaver .
History: The name Webster was brought to North America from England independently by several different bearers in the 17th and 18th centuries. One John Webster settled in Ipswich, MA, in 1635; another John Webster (died 1661), ancestor of the lexicographer Noah Webster, emigrated to Cambridge, MA, c. 1631 and later became one of the founders of the colony of CT, of which he was appointed governor in 1656. Daniel Webster (1782–1852), politician and orator, was born in Salisbury, NH, a descendant of Thomas Webster, a prominent 17th-century citizen of Ipswich, MA, whose family had settled there around 1635, while he was still a child.
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