Recorded as as Vacher, Vatcher (English and Norman), Vaccaro, Vaccari, Vaccai (Italian), Vachier, Vacher, Vacquier, Vaquier (French), Vaquero, Vaquerizo and Baquero (Spanish), Vaqueiro (Portugal), and many others, this is a surname of Roman origins. It derives from the word 'vacca' meaning cow, and is a an occupational name for a cowherd, cowhand or in modern parlance, a cowboy. Not surprisingly it is well recorded throughout most of Europe, everywhere in fact where first the Romans, and later for instance in the British Isles, where the Normans held power and achieved a hold. In England the records suggest that over the centuries it may have been confused or even 'fused' with more popular surname spellings such as Fletcher and Thatcher, particulary in those areas of the country such as the south west, in Somerset and Devon, where for example, the letter 'v' to give ven(n), rather than the more usual fen, was preferred in local spellings. Occupational surnames were amongst the earliest to be created. However they did not usually become hereditary until, or if, a son followed his father into the same line of business, which many did not. Alice le Vacher, a milkmaid, was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridge in 1273.
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