This unusual surname is a developed form of the Old (pre 10th Century) German "trotte", which translates as "the wine press". "Trotte" is itself a developed form of "trotten" meaning to walk or tread, and as "trodler" describes a grape-treader of the medieval period. The same surname (as Trotter) is found in English, and originally described a fast walker and was a term applied to early messengers. The surname was originally confined to the wine growing regions of Alsace, Lorraine, and Switzerland, variations being Trotot, Trotin, and Trott.Further developments include the following examples: Andreas Trotter who married Anna Frenchen at Landau, Pfalz, Bayern on April 6th 1607, although the "English" version as Adam Le Troter was recorded at the Yorkshire Assize Courts as early as 1219, in the reign of King Henry 111 (1216-1272). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gottfried Trodler (marriage to Anna Joseph), which was dated June 10th 1744, Arnsdorf, Oberlavsitz, Germany, during the reign of Charles V11, "Holy Roman Emperor", 1742 - 1745. 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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