This surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, is an English locational name from Catterall, near Garstang in Lancashire, which appeared as "Catrehala" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and "Caterhale" in the Book of Fees of 1212.
The place-name itself is composed of the Old Scandinavian elements "kattar, kottr", a cat, and "hali", tail; hence "A cat's tail", here referring to a long, thin piece of land. Locational surnames were originally given to the Lord of the Manor or as a means of identification to those who left their place of birth to seek work elsewhere. Katterall
in Norway actually has the same etymology as Catterall
in Lancashire. The surname is popular and widespread in Lancashire, and is first recorded in the early 13th Century (see below).
Early examples of the surname include one John
, mentioned in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire in 1332, while in 1350 "Gilbert
de la Legh
and the heir of John
(held) in demesne and service the village of Hapton", according to the Knight's Fees Records of Edward III. Richard Caterall
is mentioned in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York in 1400. Ellen
Catterall of Croston, Lancashire is recorded in the Chester Wills (1545 - 1620).
A Coat of Arms depicting three gold mascles on a blue shield, was granted to a Catterall family at Crooke in Lancashire.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert
de Caterell, which was dated 1222, in the "Curia Rolls of Hampshire", during the reign of King Henry III, 1216 - 1272.