This unusual and interesting surname has two possible origins; firstly, it may derive from the Old Norse personal name "Bo(e)thrarr", composed of the elements "boeth" meaning messenger, plus "var" guard. The placename Battersby in North Yorkshire is composed of the above elements plus the Old Norse "byr" meaning settlement. Secondly, it may be a patronymic of the pet name Batte, from the Middle English given name Bartholomew, itself coming from the Aramaic patronymic "bar-Talmay", son of Talmay, a given name meaning "having many furrows". London Church Records include the marriages of Frances Batters to George Brooke on the 9th September 1635 at St. Katherine by the Tower, and Charles Batters to Margaret Dugmore on the 5th September 1682 at St. James's, Dukes Place. One Sarah Batter, aged 16 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "United Kingdom" bound for New York on the 14th July 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Umfery Bater, which was dated 30th August 1562, married Joane Marshall at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, "Good Queen Bess", 1558-1603. 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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