This interesting name with variant spellings, Groundwator and Grundwater, is of locational origin from a place so called in Orphir, Orkney Islands, Scotland. The placename derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "grand" ground, plus "waeter" water, hence "groundwater". Locational surnames were usually acquired by the lord of the Manor and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname was first recorded in the late 17th Century (see below). One Edward Groundwater married Barbara Irving on July 24th 1683 in Kirkwall and St. Ola, Orkney. On March 15th 1713, Magnus Groundwater was christened in Orphir, Orkney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David Groundwater (christening), which was dated September 11th 1680, in the "Church Records of Kirkwall and St. Ola", Orkney, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as "The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. 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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