The English surname Lancaster is an habitational name from Lancaster in northwestern England, named in Old English as “Roman fort on the Lune,” from the Lune river, on which it stands, and the Old English term cæster meaning “Roman fort or walled city” (Latin castra meaning “legionary camp”). The river name is probably British, perhaps related to the Gaelic term slán meaning “healthy.” The name is first recorded in 1175 when William de Lonecastre is registered in the "Cartulary of Staffordshire." On July 4th 1635, one Gowen Lancaster, aged 28 yrs., embarked from London on the ship "Transport" bound for Virginia. Today there are approximately 32,000 bearers of the name Lancaster in the United States.
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