This interesting name is Scottish, and very much from the city and county of Aberdeen. It is a diminutive form of the given name Peter, itself a derivation of the Greek word "petros" meaning rock. The first recording of the name in its present form was that of Hendrie Petrie, whose house according to the records known as the "Miscellany of the Spalding Club in Aberdeen", was used for entertainment, which people paid to see, presumably an earlty theatre. The various spellings of the name include Patre, Petre, Petrye, Paitrie, Patrie and Patry. Other early examples of the surname recording include Robert Petrie, the son of David and Janet Petrie, who was christened at St. Nicholas church, Aberdeen in 1632, whilst at the same church one Alexander Petrie was christened there in 1655. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Charles Patre. This was dated 1513, in the Balwelow Records for Aberdeen, during the reign of King James V of Scotland, 1513 - 1542. 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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