This most interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an English topographical name for someone who lived by a gate, normally a gate marking the entrance to a forest or other enclosed piece of land, sometimes a floodgate or sluice-gate. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "haecce", a gate, plus the suffix "-er", meaning "dweller at", when attached to a topographical feature. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname was first recorded in the late 13th Century (see below), while Andrew Hatcher was mentioned in the Wills Records at Sussex in 1560. Thomas Hatcher (1589 - 1677) was a parliamentarian captain and commissioner to Scotland in 1643, and was present at Marston Moor (1644) and the siege of York (1644). A Coat of Arms was granted to a Hatcher family at Carby and Bytham, Lincolnshire, which depicts a chevron between six silver escallops on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Hetchere, which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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