Cator History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain were the first to use the name of Cator. The name had a practical origin since it came from when its initial bearer worked as a caterer. The surname Cator 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.
Early Origins of the Cator family
The surname Cator 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 Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Early History of the Cator family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cator research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1150 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Cator History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cator Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Cator include Cater, Cator, Cather, Catter, Cader and others.
Early Notables of the Cator family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Cator Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cator migration to the United States +
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Cator or a variant listed above:
Cator Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Mary Cator, who settled in Virginia in 1726
Cator migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Cator Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Charles Cator, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
Contemporary Notables of the name Cator (post 1700) +
- Thomas Vincent Cator (1851-1920), American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Hudson County, 1882-83; California state election commissioner, 1901-20 
- Edward Cator Seaton (1815-1880), English physician and author of the ‘Handbook of Vaccination,’ born at Rochester where his father was a retired naval surgeon
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