This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Catcherside, a parish south east of Otterburn in Northumberland. The component elements of the placename are believed to be the Old Gaelic "cathair", circular stone fort, identical with the Old Welsh "cateir", hill-fort, plus the Olde English "sid", broad, spacious (an adjective often applied to an old earthwork). This initial element is found in Caterham, Surrey, recorded as "Catheham" in 1179, and as "Caterham" in 1200, where a prehistoric fort was located, and Catterton in West Yorkshire, recorded as "Catherton" in 1256.Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal influences subsequently gave rise to several variations on the original spelling which, in the modern idiom, is found as: Catchaside, Chatcheside, Cathesyde and Catherside(s). On September 7th 1606, Thomas Catcherside and Elsabethe Shaftoo were married at St. John's, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nothumberland, and on September 8th 1833 the marriage of John Thomas Cathersides to Charlotte Crew took place at St. Giles', Camberwell, Surrey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alyson Cathesyed, which was dated April 14th 1565, christened at St. Peter's, Saltfleetby, Lincolnshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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