Recorded in the spellings of Hattersley and Hatterslay, this is now quite a famous English locational surname. Its recent fame at least in England, has been owing to the career of Roy Hattersley, at various times Deputy Leader of the Labour party in the 1980's, author, wit, and raconteur. Prior to Mr Hattersley the surname had been recorded for a very long time. It is locational and hence a 'from' name. That is to say a name given to person after they left their original home and moved elsewhere, since the easiest way to identify a 'stranger' was to call him or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling being at best erratic, and dialects very thick, often lead to the development of variant forms. The village of Hattersley is in the parish of Mottram in the county of Cheshire. The place name and hence the surname translates as 'the deer enclosure' from the Olde English pre 7th century 'heahdeor-leah', which with the change of language between Olde English, Norman-French, to Middle and then Modern English over a thousand years or more, has produced a significant changes in spelling, if not so much in pronunciation. The earliest known recordings are believed to be those of: Willelmus de Hatyray of Yorkshire in the Poll Tax register of 1379, and Amicia Hattisray, also of Yorkshire, in the same register. A later example is that of George Hattersley, who married Harriot Langford at St George's chapel, Hanover Square, London, in 1799.
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