This interesting and unusual surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is a topographical name for someone who lived on a flat, a patch of level or low-lying ground, from the Old Norse "flat, flot", plus the suffix "-er", meaning "dweller at" when attached to a topographical feature. Topographical names were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. However, in some instances the name may be of Old Germanic origin, as an occupational name for a chef, baker or someone who worked in the kitchen. From this source one Otto Flader appears in 1343 in medieval German records. Richard Flayther was christened at Dewsbury, Yorkshire, on January 6th 1544, while Thomas Flather married Alice Tomson, also at Dewsbury, on December 9th 1550. Johann, son of Siegmund Flather, was born in August 1781, at Cainsdorf, Zwickau, Sachsen, Germany. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Flader, which was dated May 24th 1540, a christening witness at Dewsbury, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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