The name is believed to originate from the Rovno area where it was Lusternick, referring to people who work in the mirror industry. Mirror work was a known early medieval jewish specialty before they got into gold and silver in the later middle ages, elading to the many jeiwsh people with names like Goldberg,Siverstein etc. In 1946 the canadian branch anglcized it (we all lived in Winnipeg then) to Lister, but the american branch (still largely concentrated in Boston) kept the orignal form, and largely still does.Ardele Lister-Jones of Brooklyn, a film prof at Rutgers, has located the exact ancestral village and knows more about this The family as I know it originated with William, married to Sadie Feinstein, who pusued a trade in selling and repairing Singer sewing machines. he moved from Malden mass. to Winnipeg in about 1909 and had 3 sons. Myer returned to Boston in the 20's,married Sylvia? and had 2 children Robert,unmarried and Sandy Vogel of baltimore who has 2 daughters in ramat-gan, Israel. He lived to 96. Simon (1913-19189) married ida Golden-Stitz (1914-2004) and had 2 children, Phil (1943)me, and Cindie (1948). I have 3 children Melanie Weiss (. Zalman/Robert of NJ)both made alyah 1988,Deborah Hatch QC of Edmonton (married jason) and Kenneth (b.1977,in Toronto).Cindie (b.1948) has 2 children Tamara of Vancouver and David of Montreal.Tamara is married tro Jacky Levi of RishonL'Tzion and has a child Milo.
Willaim's next 2 sons stayed in Calgary. Jack (1919-2003) had 3 chidren Ardele of Brooklyn a fim prof at Rutgers(daughter the noted actress Zoe Lister-Jones) Bill of calgary ( 2 chidlren, Zack and Shaina) He is married to Lilly Burstyn). his wodow Rose survives him. Julius married Gail Tyndall and has 2 chidren Steven and Craig.
William's younger brother Sidney was an MD in Everett Mass and often served as coroner,his children Stamley,a dentist and Millie whose husband Mo just died.
Phil Lister QC of Edmonton.
Lister is also a variation of the surname Lyster.