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Prather History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The Prather surname comes from the word Latin "praetor," and was a term used for a reeve, the chief magistrate or bailiff of a district. Additionally, the name could have meant "leader." The Pretorius variant is a common Afrikaans surname which is unique to South Africa.

Early Origins of the Prather family


The surname Prather was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the year 1150 when Willelmus Pretor held estates in that shire. Later, Robertus Preter was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1208.

By the 16th century, early spelling variations of the name appeared in Germany including Jacob Praetorius the Elder (c. 1520-1586), the German organist and composer. He was the first of many listed in this century, but how the English and German families are related is unknown. Moreover how the South African variant Pretorius became so popular there is again unknown.


Early History of the Prather family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Prather research.
Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Prather History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Prather Spelling Variations


Spelling variations of this family name include: Prater, Preater, Prather, Pretor, Prether and many more.

Early Notables of the Prather family (pre 1700)


More information is included under the topic Early Prather Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Prather family to Ireland


Some of the Prather family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Prather family to the New World and Oceana


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Prather Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jonathan Prather, who arrived in Virginia sometime between 1634 and 1789

Prather Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Annie C. Prather, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895

Prather Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Elisabeth Prather, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Emma Fr. Prather, aged 45, who settled in America, in 1905
  • Abby W. Prather, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Elizabeth Prather, aged 25, who emigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Katharina Prather, who emigrated to America, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Prather (post 1700)


  • Guy Prather (b. 1958), American NFL linebacker who played from 1981 to 1985 for the Green Bay Packers
  • Waylon Prather (b. 1985), American football punter
  • Hugh Prather (1938-2010), American author, minister, and counselor
  • H. Lee Prather, American football and basketball coach
  • Richard Scott Prather (1921-2007), American mystery novelist
  • Brianne Danielle Prather (b. 1980), American actress, best known for her role as Hillary Lighter on the Disney Channel show The Jersey
  • Lieutenant Commander Victor A. Prather Jr (1923-1961), American flight surgeon, best known for his contributions to "Project RAM", a government project to develop the space suit
  • Maurice William Prather (1926-2001), American motion picture and still photographer and film director

Suggested Readings for the name Prather


  • Robert and Marshall, the Prather Family in Louisiana, from Wales, England, Virginia, Maryland by Dudley Austin Tatman.
  • Nellie B.: Tales of a Texan by Angela Morgan Burton.

Prather Family Crest Products



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