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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Cathers family come from? What is the English Cathers family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cathers family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cathers family history?

The Cathers name was coined by the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Cathers was originally a name given to someone who worked as a caterer. The surname Cathers 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.


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Cathers are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Cathers include: Cater, Cator, Cather, Catter, Cader and others.

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 Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cathers research. Another 183 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1150 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Cathers History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 23 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cathers Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Cathers or a variant listed above:

Cathers Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Cathers, who settled in Philadelphia in 1808
  • William Cathers, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838

Cathers Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Cathers, who landed in Canada in 1812


  • Brad Cathers, Canadian politician in the Yukon Legislative Assembly
  • Cecil Alexander Cathers (1901-1989), Progressive Conservative party member of the Canadian House of Commons


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  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  10. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  11. ...

The Cathers Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cathers Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 28 September 2012 at 14:33.

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