Recorded in a wide range of spellings including Measure, Measures, Messer, Messures, and seemingly Messuther and Messruther, and no doubt others this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. It has, or rather had, two possible origins and meanings. The first in England being an occupational name for a civic official, one in charge of measuring the tithes or dues paid in kind, by tenants either to the church or their landlord, which may have been the same. The derivation is from the pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon and Old German word "mezzan", meaning to measure or ration.The second possible origin is Scottish and again occupational, this time for a warden, one who kept watch over harvested crops. The derivation is from the Old French word "messier", meaning harvest master. Two early examples of namebearers are those of John Measures who married Francis Coleman on October 2nd 1632 at St. Mildred Poultrey and Nicholas Messurere at the church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on June 4th 1668. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Messer, which was dated 1172 - 1180, in the Danelaw Documents, London. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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