This name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "haet" meaning a hat and was originally given either as an occupational name to a maker or seller of hats, or as a topographical name to one resident by a hat-shaped hill. One, Roger Hat was noted in "early London personal names" under the date 1148, and a Randulf Hat in the 1168 Pipe Rolls of Dorset. The surname containing the agent suffix "er", (one who does or works with), first appears on record in the early 13th Century, (see below). Other early recordings include: Henry le Hatter, "The Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", (1273), and Robertus Hatter - "The Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire", (1379).The forms Thomas del Hat, (Oxfordshire, 1279) and Richard atte Hatte, (Worecstershire, 1327) indicate a topographical origin for the surname. The addition of "er" to topographical features was particularly common in Southern England from the 14th Century on, the "er" in this case, meaning "dweller at". On June 8th 1567, Elizabeth Hatter and Thomas Walker were married in St. Giles Cripplegate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald le Hattere, which was dated 1212, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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