The surname of CATHEY was a Scottish locational name from the place of the name in Renfrewshire. The first of the family came to Scotland with Walter fitz Alan, the first of the Stewards, and from his name, Rainald Kethcart, may like his leader, have been of Breton origin. Rainald appears as a witness to a charter, circa. 1178. He also witnessed, another charter in 1202, and as Reginald de Cathekert, he witnessed yet another at about the same time. His son, Willam de Cathkert in 1234, witnessed a charter, regarding lands in Paisley. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. Sir Alan of Cathcart was recorded in 1336, and Adam Cathcart was heir of Thomas Cathcart in 1622. A notable member of the name was Sir George CATHCART (1794-1854) the Scottish soldier, son of Sir William, Ist Earl Cathcart. He joined the army in 1810, and served as aide-de-camp to his father when he was military commissioner with the Russian army (1813-1815), served with the Russians in the campaigns of 1812 and 1813, and with Wellington at Quatre-Bras and Waterloo. After helping to suppress the Canadian rebellion of 1835, and being deputy-lieutenant of the Tower, in 1852, as governor of Cape Colony he brought to a successful end the 8th Kaffir war (1850-53). He was killed in command of the 4th division at Inkermann in the Crimea. He wrote valuable 'Commentaries on the War in Russia and Germany in 1812-13' in 1850. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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