The name originates from ‘bakester’, meaning ‘woman baker’
In Latin charters the name is written as ‘pistor’ and between 1153 and 1177 William Pistor witnessed a grant by David Olifard to the Hospital of Soltre. Also in 1188 and 1202, Alfred Pistor was one of the witnesses to a charter of the kirk of Haddington.
Thomas dictus Baxter, burgess of Irvine, made a grant in 1323 for support of a chaplain in the parish church of Irvine and Hutredus pistor was burgess of Roxburgh in 1330.
In 1312 William Baxtare was a crossbowman at Edinburgh Castle and in 1398 Robert Baxter was a town official in Aberdeen.
The name is commonly found in Angus as well as Fife, where a Baxter family built Kilmaron Castle near Cupar around 1820.
The Baxters of Kincaldrum brought power-weaving to the City of Dundee, prospering as a result and making various gifts to the city, including Baxter Park.
A Baxter family in Fochabers in Moray built up a successful business selling high quality soups made from local produce.
Stanley Baxter is a well known Glaswegian actor and comedian, appearing in many TV and stage shows.