This name derives from the old French "quatre" meaning four and "main" a hand, ultimately from the Latin "quattour" and "manus". This name was given as a descriptive nickname to a person who appeared to have "four hands", perhaps someone who was in the habit of wearing heavy gloves or one who worked so fast or was so dextrous that he seemed to have four hands. The surname is originally Norman and may have arrived during their invasion in 1066, as it first appears on register in the latter half of the 12th Century. Registered in the Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire is Herbert Quatermayns (1230), and Clare Quatremayns (1273). On April 12th 1640, Robert Quartermaine, son of Anthony Quartermaine, was christened in St. Vedast Foster Lane and St. Michael le Querne, London. The surname also appears as Quartermain and Quarterman. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robertus Quatuormanus, which was dated 1187, Merton Records, Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, 1154 - 1189. 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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