The founding heritage of the Caterson family is in the Anglo-Saxon culture that once dominated in Britain. The name Caterson comes from when one of the family worked as a caterer. The surname Caterson was an official name, "the cater," derived from the Old French ale catour, a title meaning a buyer of groceries for the gentleman's house. They were in charge of maintaining provisions in manors and castles. The cater's job assumed a great importance during extended sieges of his lord's castle, which could last for years.
The surname Caterson was first found in Berkshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. William le Catur who was documented in the year 1273 in Essex and a few years later, Bernard le Acatour was listed in 1300 in Somerset. William Katerer was listed in the YorkshirePoll Tax of 1379.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Caterson research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1150 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Caterson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Caterson has been spelled many different ways, including Cater, Cator, Cather, Catter, Cader and others.
Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Catersons to arrive in North America:
Caterson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Jemima Caterson, aged 35, who arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "City of Rome" from Glasgow, Scotland
E. Caterson, aged 28, who arrived in New York in 1894 aboard the ship "Portia" from St. John's, Newfoundland 
Annie Caterson, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1896 aboard the ship "Furnessia" from Glasgow, Scotland
Jemima Caterson, aged 30, who arrived in New-York in 1899 aboard the ship "Furnessia" from Londonderry, Ireland
Caterson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
William Caterson, aged 40, who arrived in New York in 1908 aboard the ship "Kaiser Wilhelm II" from Southampton, England
Robert Caterson, aged 65, who arrived in New York in 1912 aboard the ship "California" from Londonderry, Ireland
Rose Caterson, aged 26, who arrived in New York in 1913 aboard the ship "Columbia" from Londonderry, Ireland