This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a patronymic form of the Middle English male given name "Ode, Ot(t)e", itself having a complicated derivation, since it represents, in effect, the coalescence of various personal names of several different origins. These include the Olde English pre 7th Century "Od(d)a", Old Norse "Oddr", and the Old German "Odo, Otto". The first two are short forms of various compound names having as their first element either the Olde English "ord", or the Old Norse "odd", both meaning "point of a spear". The Old German names are also from short forms of compound names with the first element "od", prosperity, riches. All of these names were Latinized as "Odo" which was itself borne by several notable personages including Odo, archbishop of Bayeux, and half-brother of the Conqueror, and Odo or Otto Von Wittelsbach, founder of the Bavarian ruling dynasty in the 11th Century. "Ode, Odo", and "Otho" are recorded (without surname) in the Domesday Book of 1086, and a Willelmus filius (son of) Otte appears in the 1177 Pipe Rolls of Essex. William Ode (Suffolk, 1213) is the first known bearer of the surname, and the patronymic emerges in the late 13th Century (see below). In the modern idiom the name is variously spelt: Oats, Oates, Oatts and Oattes. On May 7th 1662, John Oattes and Ester Kidson were married at Guiseley, Yorkshire, and the marriage was recorded in Scotland of William Oattes and Margaret Barnett on February 23rd 1861, in Edinburgh Parish, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrew Otes, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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