Paternoster Family History
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Paternoster Name Meaning
English (Essex), French, German, and Italian (Apulia and Basilcata): from Latin pater noster ‘Our Father’, the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer, which is represented by large beads punctuating the rosary. The surname was a metonymic occupational name for a maker of rosaries, often a shortened form of the Middle English, Middle High German occupational term paternosterer. It may also have been originally a nickname for an excessively pious individual or for someone who was under a feudal obligation to say paternosters for his master as part of the service by which he held land. Dutch: probably a habitational name from the name of a house in Delft, ‘Int paternoster’, built in 1600. In this case the derivation is from the word as a term for manacles which hold the hands together so that it appears that the restrained person is praying.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press