This interesting name, with variant spellings Oade, Oaten, Oat(es), Ott and Otten, derives from the Medieval English given name Ode in which personal names of several different origins have coalesced. These name include the old English Oda and the Old Norse Odda (from the Old English "ord" and the Old Norse "Odd", point of a spear); the Old French Odes and Otes with diminutives Odon and Otton, and the Old German Odo, Otto meaning "riches". Odo was the name borne by the archbishop of Bayeux, half-brother of William the Conqueror, and the German Odo or Otto was a hereditary name in the Saxon ruling house. Ode, Odo and Otho (without surname) are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Cristiana Odes and Andrew Otes were entered respectively in the 1275 Hundred Rolls of Northamptonshire and Norfolk. On December 1st 1579, Ales, daughter of Thomas Oates, was christened at St. Margaret's, Lothbury, and John, son of William Oates, was christened on November 16th 1589 at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate. The final "s" on the name is a reduced form of "son of". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Ode, which was dated 1213, "The Curia Regis Rolls of Suffolk", 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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