This unusual and interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is from an occupational surname describing a person who thatched houses and cottages with reeds, a thatcher. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "hroed", meaning "reed", with the agent suffix "-er"; the Middle English (1200 - 1500) verb "redyn" is derived from the same source, meaning "to thatch with reed, to cover with reeds". The surname is found particularly well recorded in Norfolk and the Eastern counties of England, where there were plentiful supplies of reeds in the fenlands. The Guild Procession held in Norwich in 1553, on Corpus Christi, included the "Reders, Thaxters, and Rede-sellers". There are a number of variant forms of the modern surname, ranging from Reeder, Reader and Reder, to Reedman and Readman. Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of Elizabeth Reader and Richard Eaton in 1661. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam le Redere, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", 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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