The Preter 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 Preter family
The surname Preter 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
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 Preter family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Preter research.Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Preter History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Preter Spelling Variations
of this family name include: Prater, Preater, Prather, Pretor, Prether and many more.
Early Notables of the Preter family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Preter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Preter family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: John Prater, who settled in Newfoundland in 1622; Thomas Prater, who settled in Virginia in 1622; Jonathan Prather, who arrived in Virginia sometime between 1634 and 1789.
Preter Family Crest Products