This unusual surname is recorded in the spellings of Ecktor, Ector, Hecter and Hector. It has two possible origins, the first being derived from the ancient classical Greek hero, and as such probably introduced into Europe in the 12th century at the time of the 12th century crusades. These unsuccessful military expeditions attempted to free the Holy Land from the grip of the Moslems. It was a common policy for returning soldiers to name their male offspring with biblical or classical names, in commemoration of the fathers 'pilgrimage'. The second derivation is from the early Gaelic (Irish-Scottish) 'Eachdonn', meaning 'the dark horse', and therefore presumably a nickname. In both Scotland and Ireland this spelling was anglicised to 'Ecktor' or 'Hector'. The latter is now the recognised spelling of the name, which is principally recorded in Northern Ireland. An example from this region being Mary Hector, the daughter of Robert Hector, christened at Donaghmore, County Tyrone, on December 30th 1770. The early American recordings are firstly as Hecter, Catharine Hecter, the daughter of Frederick Hecter, being christened at Rhinebeck, N. Y. on April 8th 1755. They people were probably of Dutch origins. Annesje Hector, who married Zacharias Hoffman at Shawangunk, N.Y. on July 30th 1772, most certainly was Dutch. However Sarah Ector, who married John Wilson at Trinity Church, New York, N.Y., was probably of Irish stock, the name 'Wilson' also being very popular in Northern Ireland. The coat of arms granted in France, has the blazon of three gold towers on a blue field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Ecktor, which was dated July 15th 1692, married at Derry Cathedral, Northern Ireland, during the reign of King William 111 of England and Orange, 1689 - 1702. 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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