Chater Genealogy - Introduction


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Chater Family Bible - Extract of a Register Page

The first register page from the Chater Family Bible

My interest in tracing my family stems from not knowing anything about its origins. My site is steadily growing, and I have a lot more information on my database that hasn't yet made it to the website.  In the beginning my searching took me London and the British Library were a vast majority of records are kept that relate to India and in particular, Calcutta.  Between 2005 and 2008, my searching took me physically to India, and what an experience it was.  I shall continue to endeavour to update this site as and when I get more and more information. 

What I have found out is that my grandfather and great grandfather spent some considerable time in Port Blair, in the Andaman Islands this is where my grandfather grew up around the 1890's and my great grandfather was a Post Master.  Port Blair is part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, in the Bay of Bengal.

The exciting news for me in January 2005 was that I had been contacted by an unknown first cousin. He was keen and interested to know about our family and, more importantly, he was able to let me see for the very first time, the Chater Family Bible which dates back to 1831 and holds all the names of my ancestors.  This was an incredible moment, firstly when we met the resemblance we saw in each other of our parents and secondly, to be able to see that old Bible that had, over the years, travelled so many miles in its life!  It's first entry was in Dacca [Dhaka is in present day Bangladesh] in 1831, and here it is today in 2014 in the UK. 

Definition of the name CHATER


According to one source I have found

"...........the meaning of the name CHATER is derived from the Armenian word Adsvazaturian (presumably from its two middle syllables) a name meaning Gift of God.........".  

Other variations I have come across that need to be considered when researching this name are: Astvasatour, Chatoor, Satoor, Astwachatoor, Astvatsatoor, Asdvatsatoor, Azdvazdzatoor

However, another source, The English and Welsh Surname Directory has the following definition.

Chater, Chaytor - (1) Offic. 'the escheator' (?), one who inquired into escheats.  After the death of a tenant an inquiry was made, and if there was failure of issue, the land escheated or lapsed to his lord.  It was the same after attainder for treason or felony.  Possibly Cater (q.v.), but the above is almost certainly the true derivation (v. Cheat in Skeat's Dictionary).  (2) Offic. 'the chater' v. Cater; of. Candler and Chandler, &c.

Henry Escaetor, co. Oxf., 1273. A. Ralph le Chatere, co., Warw., Hen. III-Edw. I.K.
Stephen le Chatere, co. Warw., ibid.
Thomas Chetur, smyth, 1379: P.T. Yorks. p.41.
Walter le Chatur, co. Camb., 1273. A. Agnes le Chatur, co. Cambs., ibid.
1737. Married-Thomas Cheater and Sarah Blackstaff: St. Dionis Backhurch, p.66.
1801. - John Jeans and Martha Chater: St. Geo. Han.Sq. ii. 235
London, 8,1; New York, 3,1."

Finally, another definition forwarded to me by a list member from the chater-l rootsweb list is as follows.

According to the Reader's Digest Encyclopaedia, Chater derives from "achateur" or "buyer" i.e. of foods for a large household. The words "cater" and "caterer" could in some cases have derived from this job description. I read somewhere else that all these come French "acheter" (to buy) which in turn comes from the Latin for to "capture" or "acquire" (capire?,captivare?)

Whichever meaning of the name you choose to relate to, I hope the following pages of information are of some help to you.

I have tried my best to make sure the information on the following pages are correct.  However, you should do your own independent research to be absolutely sure of anything here that may interest you.

Best wishes
Liz Chater
January 2014