Recorded in several forms as shown below, this medieval surname is English. It is occupational either for a maker of head chains or ropes (tethers) or a metonymic for a jailer or warder. It is also possible that it was job descriptive for a stablehand, one responsible for tethering and feeding the horses. The word "tether" derives from the Olde French word "tete" meaning head, a word introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of England in 1066. Spellings of the surname include Tatter, Tatters, Tather, Tother, Tether, Tetther, Tither, Tuther, and others, and the surname recordings taken from surviving chruch registers include examples such as Alys Tetther who was christened on November 14th 1585, at the church of St. Andrew's Undershaft, city of London, Edward Tather who married Alys Bayle, at Christchurch, Hampshire, on October 11th 1583. It is also recorded in Solihul, Warwickshire on February 7th 1608, when Benjamin Tether was christened. Christyn Tether married Henry Gren, at St. Stephans Church, in the city of London on February 1st 1560. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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