Recorded in the spellings of Waterson and Watterson, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname of medieval origins. In England it derives from the famous Anglo-Saxon personal name "Waldhar", the modern Walter, a compound consisting of the elements "wald" meaning "to rule", plus "hari", an army, although in Scotland it is believed to originate from the lands of Waterson, in the county of Forfarshire. However as the lands of Waterson were named after somebody called "Walter's son", it could be said that the "origin" in both countries is probably the same, although not the same person. As a first name, surname did not then exist, "Walter" was introduced into England about the time of the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042-1066), and after the Norman-French Invasion of 1066 it became very popular. It is first recorded as "Walterus" in the 1086 Domesday Book, Waterus filius Merberti appears in the city of London rolls for the year 1135, whilst in Scotland William de Walterstoun is recorded in 1329. The medieval pronunciation of Walter was Water, hence the development of the Water, Watter, Watters, Waterson and Watterson surnames. Other examples of the surname include Hugh Watterstone of Forfar in 1495, and in 1507 William Watterson was recorded as being a freeman of the city of York. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of John Wauterson. which was dated 1273 - in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Yorkshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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