A Norse-Viking 8th century derivative surname meaning "a goat herd" or "goat keeper". The origination is from "geit" through the English medieval "gayte" to Gaythirde, John Le Gaythirde, being recorded in Yorkshire in 1301 and Robert Gayterd in 1466. There are six modern ie. post medieval spellings, Gaiter, Gayter, Gaytor, Gaythor, Gaither and Geator, and one of the first recorded names into the New Virginian Colony was John Gather (as spelt) who was recorded as living at James Cittie, Virginia on February 16th 1623. The muster of the inhabitants of Mulbury lland (as spelt), Virginia, taken in January 1624 also recorded a John Gatter who apparently arrived in 1620 on the ship "George". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Michael Le Geytere which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdon" during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots" 1272 - 1307. 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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