This interesting and unusual name, introduced after the 1066 Conquest by William 1, is the result of the Anglicization of the Norman, Old French, word "arblaster" or "arbalestier", meaning a crossbowman. The derivation is from the Latin "arcuballistarius", a compound of "arcus", bow, and "ballista", a catapult. The name was used both as an occupational name for a soldier trained to use one of these weapons, and as a term denoting the category of a feudal tenant in sergeantry, that is, holding their lands in return for providing armed service with a crossbow. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary.The surname is distinguished by being first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1066 (see below), and the development since then has included: Richard le Arbelaster (1198, Rutland), and Ralph Alebaster (circa 1200, Essex). The modern form include: Alabaster, Alabastar, Albisser and Arblaster. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was William Alabaster (1567 - 1646), who was a famous Latin Scholar and Chaplain to the Earl of Essex during his attack on Cadiz in 1596. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robertus Arbalistarius, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Alabaster — is a name applied to varieties of two distinct minerals: gypsum (a hydrous sulfate of calcium) and calcite (a carbonate of calcium). The former is the alabaster of the present day; the latter is generally the alabaster of the ancients. The two… …   Wikipedia

  • Alabaster — massiges Aggregat Chemische Formel CaSO4 · 2 H2O Mineralklasse Wasserhaltige Sulfate ohne fremde Anionen siehe Gips (nach Strunz) siehe Gips …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alabaster — • The substance commonly known as alabaster is a fine grained variety of gypsum. Oriental alabaster, the alabastrites of the classical writers, is a translucent marble obtained from stalagmitic deposits Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Alabaster — Sm Edelgips erw. fach. (12. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. alabaster m., alabastrum n., dieses aus gr. alábastros m. und on n. (älter gr. alábastos) Alabaster (als Mineral), aus Alabaster gefertigtes Salbengefäß . Wohl zu einem ägyptischen Wort …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • alabaster — [al′ə bas΄tər] n. [ME < OFr alabastre < L alabaster < Gr alabastros, earlier alabastos, vase for perfumes (often made of alabaster), prob. < Egypt *ʼ a labaste, vessel of (the goddess) Bast] 1. a translucent, whitish, fine grained… …   English World dictionary

  • Alabaster — Al a*bas ter, n. [L. alabaster, Gr. ala bastros, said to be derived fr. Alabastron, the name of a town in Egypt, near which it was common: cf. OF. alabastre, F. alb[^a]tre.] 1. (Min.) (a) A compact variety or sulphate of lime, or gypsum, of fine… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Alabaster — Alabaster, AL U.S. city in Alabama Population (2000): 22619 Housing Units (2000): 8594 Land area (2000): 20.472605 sq. miles (53.023800 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.054715 sq. miles (0.141711 sq. km) Total area (2000): 20.527320 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Alabaster, AL — U.S. city in Alabama Population (2000): 22619 Housing Units (2000): 8594 Land area (2000): 20.472605 sq. miles (53.023800 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.054715 sq. miles (0.141711 sq. km) Total area (2000): 20.527320 sq. miles (53.165511 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Alabaster — Alabaster: Der Name der feinkörnigen weißlichen Gipsart, mhd. alabaster, führt über entsprechend lat. alabaster auf griech. alábast‹r›os »Gips; gipserne Salbenbüchse« zurück …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Alabaster [2] — Alabaster, Balsambüchschen in Form einer Birne; aus Alabasterstein, d.i. einem von unserem Alabaster verschiedenen sintrigen, faserigen Kalkstein, gemacht …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Alabaster — Alabaster. Eine Kalkart. In der Regel sehr weiß, von seinem Gefüge, halb durchsichtig. Wegen seines schönen Aussehens ist er als Stein zu Statuen kleinerer Art sehr geschätzt. In Florenz gibt es ganze Fabriken, welche sich mit nichts Anderem… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon