This is an occupational surname recorded originally in its various spellings in France, Italy, Spain, and Rumania. The derivation is from the Old French word 'savate' meaning slipper, the surname being a metonymic or nickname for the maker or seller of shoes and slippers. There are at least thirty spelling forms ranging from Sabattier, Savatier and Sabatini, to Zapata, Zavitteri, and Ciobutaru. Occupational surnames, unlike those of habitation, were not originally hereditary, and only became so when the son followed the father into the 'family business'. Most of the derivations of the surnames and the most popular forms, are themselves patronymics. In this case examples of the surname recordings taken from authentic church and civil registers include Antonio de Munea Zapata, christened at Albacete, Spain, on June 11th 1609, and Abraham Savatte, born at Marck, Pas-de-Calais, France, on January 1st 1649. Francois Savatier was christened at Vaux-sur-Vienne, France, on June 26th 1749, and Clara Zapater was married to Bernardo Calbo, at Santa Maria, Tudela, Spain, on January 6th 1760. The coat of arms has the distinctive and appropriate blazon of a gold field, charged with a red shoe fesswise. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andres Cabellera Zapatero, which was dated April 12th 1588, born at Villa de Esqueva, Valladolid, Spain, during the reign of King Phillip 11 of Spain Emperor of Mexico, 1556 - 1598. 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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