This interesting surname of English origin is an occupational name for the buyer of provisions for a large household. It is derived from the Anglo Norman French 'acatour' meaning 'a buyer for a house'. The name dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Robert le Achatour (1229) 'The Rolls of the Abbey of Ramsey, Cambridgeshire'. Elias le Katur (1271) 'The Court Rolls of the Abbey of Ramsey and of the Honox of Clare, Cambridgeshire'. Variations in the idiom of the spelling includes Cater, Cator, Chatees, Chaytor, etc.. One Jane Chater married Richard Sharret on November 1st 1591 at St. Bride Fleet Street, London. John Chater married Ellin Watteson at St. Dunstan, Stepney on August 14th 1603, and one John Chater was married to Anthony Wiggins on the April 22nd at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Chatur, which was dated 1220, Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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