This interesting surname recorded as Rothery and Rothera, the latter being a dialectal transposition, is of English locational origin. It derives from the river "Rother", which rises on the Derbyshire-Yorkshire border and is recorded as "Roder" in the Yorkshire Chronicles of the year 1170. It derives from an Ancient British word, Rodwfr, meaning "flowing water". The surname itself also contains the suffix "eg", which appears in the modern surname as "ey" or "era", meaning an island or land situated on a stream or between streams.Both Rothery and Rothera are relatively popular names in Yorkshire, although the latter is almost specific to Halifax. The town of Rotherham is also located on the Rother river, and this translates as 'the homestead on the river'. There is also a river of the same name in Sussex and Kent, but is not the source of any significant number of surnames. Examples of recordings include William Rotherie who married Genet Becrofte at Gargrave in Yorkshire on June 16th 1588, while George Rothery married Hellen Wylson at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London on May 30th 1579. Antony Rothera married Prudence Sutcliffe at Halifax on August 11th 1634, and Elizabeth Rothera, the daughter of John was christened at All saints, Wakefield, on March 22nd 1725. Henry Cadogan Rothery (1817 - 1888) was a famous lawyer employed in the admiralty courts from 1842. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes Rothery, which was dated 1562, christened at Bolton upon Dearne, Yorkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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