Origins of the Palliser name

The origins of the Palliser surname are in YORKSHIRE, more particularly, the area between Ripon and Durham. Books on surnames give the meaning of the name as "a maker of palings and fences." The addition of the 't', as in Pallister, refers to the feminine, or a "female maker of palings and fences".

However, I cannot imagine a female maker of palings and fences in medieval times, unless it refers to a wife of a fencemaker, so I have my doubts as to these origins.

Twentieth century French dictionaries also give the meaning of pallisser as "one who attaches a vine to a wall". It takes a short stretch of the imagination, to see a link between a fence-maker, and attaching vines to walls.

Early medieval documents show palicers as park-keepers, not, of course, in the modern sense, of tending playgrounds and flowers, but of overseeing and managing Royal Deer Parks, no doubt, mending any broken fences along the way.

I have a couple of theories as to the origins of the name, but until I have more concrete evidence, I shall keep my theories to myself!

 

The above paragraph gives three variants of the name, namely:

 

palicer

Palliser

pallisser

Pallister

There are others, and here are some of them.

Palaser

Palesar

Palesir

Palester

Palicer

Palicor

Palisar

Paliser

Palisor

Palister

Palistor

Pallacer

Pallacers

Pallaser

Pallasor

Pallasour

Pallerser

Pallesar

Palleser

Pallesor

Pallesser

Pallester

Pallistor

Pallezer

Pallicar

Pallicer

Pallicor

Pallisar

Palliser

Pallisor

Pallisser

Pallissor

Pallister

Pallizer

Pallsor

Pallysar

Pallyser

Palser

Palyser

Talliser

It just goes to show, when looking for a name, that you should try every variant, and even different starting letters. Within this surname, may well be included Ballister, for example, though I have made no study of that, and would welcome information.

This variety of spellings, above, does not confine itself to one particular family. Indeed, any one particular Palliser family, could be found under half a dozen or more of these spellings, so it is no good insisting that a name was always spelled a certain way. People often could not read or write, so had no idea how to spell their own name. It depended on the whim, or knowledge of the scribe who wrote it down, as to how it might be spelled.

The two principal surname spellings, however, are Palliser, and Pallister, and there are regional differences for this. Many Pallisers whose origins are in NORTH YORKSHIRE, are spelled without the T. Many others whose origins are in DURHAM, or eastern YORKSHIRE, are spelled with the T. Some families, however, seemed to have removed or added T's themselves, later on. However, I have heard Yorkshire people pronounce the name as Pallister, whether the name is spelled with the T or not.

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