Recorded as Gath, Garth, Gather, Gawther (English), and Gatherer (Scottish), this is a surname of pre 7th century Olde English origins. If residential it derives from the word garth, meaning a yard or enclosure, and describes a person who lives at a garth, which would literally mean a small farm. If occupational it describes a gather, one who workers at a garth, or in Scotland where the residential meaning could be the same or if occupational it described a farm worker, probably one who worked on contract during the harvest periods. In England the surname is first recorded in the famous Poll Tax registers for the county of Yorkshire in 1379 with Beatrice del Garthe of Howden, and Willelmus del Garth, possibly of the same place. In Scotland the surname is first recorded in circa 1500, when the Gadderar's of Cowford in Moray are noted in charters as being an ancxient family. Later recordings include Thomas Gaderer, who was the prebendary of Talarisy in 1539, and later the clerk of the diocese of Moray in 1545. The spelling change from Gad(d)erer to Gatherer seems to have taken place around the end of the 17th century, with James Gatherer being the minister of Old Aberdeen in 1732, and Adam Geatherer, a member of the Gartly Volunteers, a local militia, in 1798.
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