Recorded as Padson, Paddison, Paterson, Patterson, Pattinson, Patrickson and many others, this is a surname which is essentially Scottish but well recorded in most of the British Isles. It is a dialectal patronymic form of the male given name Patrick, ultimately from the Latin Patricius, meaning the son of a noble father, or a member of the patrician class, the Roman hereditary aristocracy. Patrick has been chiefly used in Scotland and Ireland, but was also widespread in the north of England from the 12th century, giving rise to a number of surnames spellings according to local dialects. Its popularity was largely due to St. Patrick, the 5th century Apostle of Ireland. The original territory of the Clan Pheadirean or Patersons lay on the north side of Loch Fyne, whilst early examples of the surname recordings from Scotland include John Patonson of Aberdeen in 1446; Thomas Padeson who was the vicar of Kilteirn in 1487, and George Patterson, a preacher at the monastery of Culross in 1569. Emma Anne Paterson (1848 - 1886) was the first woman admitted to the Trade Union Congress in 1875. The coat of arms most associated with the surname has the blazon of a silver shield charged with three pelicans feeding their young in a green nest. The pelican was the sign of wisdom. The first recorded spelling of the family name is possibly that of William Patrison. This was dated 1426, in the Episcopal Register of Aberdeen, during the reign of King James 1st of Scotland. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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