This interesting name is of early Medieval English origin, and is an occupational surname for a buyer of provisions for a large household. The name derives from the Old French "acateor", Anglo-Norman French "acatour", meaning "buyer", ultimately derived from the Latin "acceptator", an agent derivative of "acceptare", to accept, receive. The Middle English word was "catour", the short form of "acatour", and the surname development includes: Robert le Achatour (1229, Cambridgeshire), Elias le Katur (1271, ibid.), William le Catour (1301, Oxfordshire), and John Chayter (1667, Yorkshire). The modern English word "caterer" derives from the same source, with the addition of a second agent suffix, "-er", to the word. The modern surname can be found as Cater, Cator, Chater, Chaytor, and Chaters. Recordings of the surname from the London church registers include; John Cater, who was christened on December 13th 1546 at St. Peter Cornhill, on May 12th 1560, William Cater married Joice Humble at St. Mary Woolnoth; and Mabell Cater married Harry Kendall on February 3rd 1561, at St. Matthew, Friday Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Chatur, which was dated 1220, in the "Bedfordshire Curia Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "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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