This interesting surname has two possible origins; firstly, it may be an occupational name for the servant of a bearer of the given name Wa(l)ter, deriving from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements "wald" meaning rule, plus "heri, hari" army, and introduced into England by the Normans in the form Walt(i)er, Waut(i)er. The suffix "man" derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "man(n)", man, servant. Secondly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, from an occupational name for a boatman or a water-carrier, or a topographical name for someone who lived by a stretch of water, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "waeter" meaning water, plus "man(n)" man.The surname dates back to the late 12th Century (see below), and early recordings include William le Waterman (1249), Oxfordshire, and Adam Walterman (1260), Yorkshire. London Church Records list the marriage of Henry Waterman to Margarete Mountayn on June 24th 1568 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. A Coat of Arms granted to a Waterman family is a paly of six silver and red three crescents counterchanged. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wilke Waterman, which was dated 1196, in the "Register of the Freemen of Leicester", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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