This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a shoemaker or cobbler, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "sutere", Middle High German "suter, siuter, sutaere", ultimately from the Latin "sutor", shoemaker, an agent derivative of "suere", to sew. Job-descriptive surnames, such as this, originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Sutor (Soutar) has the distinction of being first recorded in the Domesday Book (below), and further early examples of the name include: Nicholas le Soutere (Sussex, 1263); William le Soutare (Sussex, 1327); and Johannes de Morton, souter (Yorkshire, 1379). A quotation from medieval English Gild records of Worcestershire reads, "Also everych sawter that maketh shon of newe rothes lether", and reference is made in a further document to "Cecilia, the souteresse". The surname is first recorded in Scotland in the early 13th Century: Roger Sutor held land in Dumfries circa 1214, and Thomas Soutar obtained from the abbot of Cupar the lease of a portion of the land of Nuirton in 1457. On January 21st 1845, Frederick, son of Frederick Soutar and Isabella Wilson, was christened at London Wall Scotch Church. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is an azure shield with a chevron cotised argent, the Crest being a harpy guardant, wings displayed proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lewinus Sutor, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Hampshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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