Recorded in various spellings including Catto, Cathoch, Cattach, Cattanach, and Cattenach, this is a Scottish surname. It could be described as "descriptive" as the name translates literally as "belonging to the Clan Chattan", and as such is probably the only surname of its type to be found anywhere. The clan it is said claim descent from one Gillacatain, first recorded in 1376, and translating as the follower of Saint Catan, and earl;y Holy man of the 7th century or thereabouts. The surname has never been very populous but is found in pockets in the highlands particularly in Upper Deeside, Braemar and Strathdon. As Cattach it was a name originally found only in the Buchan District of Aberdenshire. The surname is first recorded in the 15th Century and developed as Catanache in 1623, when Arthur Catanache was the attorney at Wadbuster in the Shetlands, with James Cattache being recorded in Aberdeen in 1633 and Iain Cattoch in 1685. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrew Cathoch. This was dated 1463, when he was a witness at the Aberdeen Court during the reign of James III of Scotland 1460 - 1488. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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