This interesting surname, of Scottish origin, is a locational name from a feudal barony in the former county of Perthshire, deriving from the Gaelic "rath" meaning "fortress" plus the Welsh "tref", "settlement". The surname dates back to the late 12th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Thomas de Rettre (1253) who had a dispute with the Abbot of Arbroath regarding the bounds of their properties, as stated in "Warden", and Adam de Rethereth witnessed a charter by Cristina de Valoniis in 1256. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Rattrie, Ratray, Rattray, Rattery, and Rattry. Sophia, daughter of James and Susan Rottery, was christened at St. Martin in the Fields, on June 26th 1633. Alexander Rattray married Sarah Gilbert on August 20th 1715 at St Benet's, Paul's Wharf, London.The Coat of Arms granted to the Rattray's (that Ilk, County Perth and Craighall) has the blazon of a blue field thereon three gold cross crosslets fitchee. The Crest being a gold star, and thereon a flaming heart proper, with the motto; Super sidera votum, translating as "My wishes are above the stars". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan de Ratheriff, which was dated in the late 1100's, witnessed charters, during the reign of King Alexander 11 of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. 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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