Last name: Arthan

Found in the spellings of Arthen, Arthan, and Arthand, this surname is a variant form of the Huguenot name "Arthaud"- itself a developed form of the original Breton, Celtic and Old English personal name "Arthur". The etymology of "Arthur" is uncertain but it is probably a development of the ancient Gaelic "Garth" meaning "a bear", this type of name being very popular in the pre Roman period. In this case, the name as "Arthaud" is a form of patronymic implying "little Arthur" or "son of Arthur" and is recorded heraldically for France as Arthaud, Comtes de Die in the Department of Dauphin (pre 1792). Recordings in England showing the "link" spellings include Isaac Arthaud in 1743 (Westminster), who on April 26th 1750 appears as Isaac Arthand at St. Mary le Bone whilst Samuel Arthen is recorded in Leek (Stafforshire) in 1838 and Charles Arthan in 1859 at Armitage, Stafforshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Pierre Arthaud, which was dated January 18th 1709, a witness at the French Huguenot church, Westminster, during the reign of Queen Anne, "The Last Stuart Monarch", 1702 - 1714. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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