This interesting name is now mainly Scottish in origin, and can be found in the variant forms 'Moultrie', 'Moutray' and 'Mutrie'. The name was introduced into Scotland by the Adam de Multrere recorded below, who was a burgess of Berwick; his name is thought to be Norman in origin, and a variant form of the surname 'Maltravers', a locational surname from a now 'lost' place in Normandy named from the Old French 'mal travers', bad crossing, from the Latin 'malum traversum', perhaps, the site of a difficult ford. One Henry Multrar, burgess of Edinburgh, witnessed a Charter of Grothill (now Greenhill, a suburb of Edinburgh), in the reign of David 11 (1329-1371). The General Register House in Edinburgh is built on the site of the 17th Century Moutray estate. General William Moultrie, governor of South Carolina from 1785-1787 and 1794-1796, was the son of a Scottish physician, Dr. John Moultrie. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Multreve, which was dated 1292, Ancient Charters of Berwick, during the reign of King John Balliol, 'King of Scotland', 1292-1296. 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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