However, it is very much a Banburyshire name and has existed in the area for at least 400 years.
Analysis of the 1841 and 1851 censuses, together with the early GRO indexes, place the surname largely within two small geographic areas:
The largest concentration was in Banburyshire, which accounted for around 75% of the total surname entries and the second, much smaller, concentration was in London which accounted for another 10%.
Interestingly, the surname appears in both places at about the same time - the earliest references I've found being 1613 in London and 1614 in the Banburyshire area.
Of course it's not impossible, but I do have some doubts about a new and enduring surname (or a new and enduring spelling of an older surname) arising simultaneously in two very different places. So the question is; did both groups share a common ancestry or were there two distinct (genetically unrelated) family lines, ie., one in Banburyshire and the other in London?
This question intrigues me and so, in addition to researching my own family tree, I am conducting a One-name Study into all occurrence of the PLESTER surname.
Unfortunately however, PLESTER isn't always spelt "PLESTER" in the parish records and, as with most surnames, it has its variants. For instance, in one Banburyshire parish alone, I have found clear evidence of the surname being rendered variously as PLESTER, PLESTOW, PLASTOW, and PLEISTER.
And I've also encountered a few local spellings of the surname, eg., PLESTERS and PLISTER which, so far as I know, were originally limited to Warwickshire.
So if you have PLESTER links - anywhere in the world - I would like to hear from you.
And if you have links to any of the other (variant) surnames I've listed, I would also like to hear from you.
PLASTOW, PLEISTER, PLESTERS, PLESTOW(E) and PLISTER
Other "family tree" surnames that I'm researching are:
JOINES, TAPLIN, and TEW, in the "Banburyshire" area.