This interesting surname with variant spellings Gatheral, Gatherall, Gaterell, Gatterel, Gatrall, and Gatrell, has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be taken literally as a medieval nickname from one who "gathers-all", and would have been used for a collector of items. It may also be of English locational origin, from a voiced form of Catterall in Lancashire. The placename is recorded as "Catrehala" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and derives from the Old Scandinavian "kattar-hali" meaning "cat's tail", here used of a farm on account of the lengthened shape of its land. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below). One, John de Caterhale, appears in the Subsidy Roll of Lancashire (1332). Some recordings of the surname from London church registers include: the marriage of Steapen Gatterell and Grace Richardson on October 20th 1616 at St. Giles Cripplegate; the marriage of John Gatiell and Mary Greenham on November 10th 1712 at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf, and the christening of Thomas Gatrell at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, on May 4th 1791. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Caterell, which was dated 1222, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Hampshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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