This early medieval surname is job descriptive, either for a maker of head chains or ropes (tethers) or it may be a metonymic for a jailer or warder, one who 'tethered'. It is also possible that it was job descriptive for a stablehand, one responsible for tethering and feeding the horses. "Tether" derives from the French "tete" meaning "head", a word introduced by the Normans after the 1066 Invasion. Variations of the name include Tather, Tother, Tet(t)her, Tither and Tuther, and the name recordings include the following examples; Alys Tetther, christened on November 14th 1585, at the church of St. Andrew's Undershaft, London, whilst Edward Teather married Alys Bayle, at Christchurch, on October 11th 1583. It was also recorded in Solihull, Warwickshire on February 7th 1608, when Benjamin Tether was christened. He was the son of Richardi Tether, a saddler in the town, whilst Samuell Tetther and his wife Elizabeth were recorded at St Pauls Church, Deptford, on January 26th 1817, in the reign of King George 111, 1760 - 1820. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Christian Tether, which was dated February 4th 1544, recored at Christ Church, Greyfriars, London, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as 'Bluff King Hal', 1510 - 1547. 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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