This very interesting surname is Olde English and Norse in origin and female! It derives from the Old Norse "Thak" and the later Middle English "thack", meaning "thatch" and is the feminine form of Thatcher and Thacker. For reasons unknown the name was first recorded mainly in East Anglia and originally specifically Norfolk, an early example being 'Elena la Thakestere', in the 1295 Pipe Rolls of that county. One of the early charters which allowed the performance of the famous pageants held in Norwich throughout the Middle Ages refers to "The Reders, Thaxters, Rede-sellers, etc", as taking part in the celebrations. Examples of the early recordings include Johannes Thekster of Yorkshire in 1379, Robert Thakster of Carlton, Norfolk in 1541, and John Thaxter of Cambridge in 1567, this being the first known recording with the 'x'. Curiously the coat of arms was granted in Ireland in 1644 where the name was prominent amongst the 17th century settlers. The blazon is per fess red and silver, a cross patoncee counterchanged, in chief three doves volant in silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Thackstere, which was dated 1273, The Hundred Rolls of the county of Norfolk. during the reign of King Edward I, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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.