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Family spelling variants includes Watts, Watson, Waterstone, Waterston, Waterson, Water, Walters, Walter
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WATERS Family History
This surname was recorded on early records in many different ways, including as Water, Wharter, Wauter, Waters, Watheys, Watters as well as the diminutives Wattie, Watha, and Wathey.
It has two possible origins. The first derives from the personal name Walter, and with the 's' added at the end would mean 'son of Walter'. This name was introduced to Britain after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.
The second origin theory relates to a locational name, in that an ancestor would have lived near to a body of water or marshland, or a place with Water(s) in its name, such as Waterson, a village in Dorset. In this sense, related surnames would include Attwater and Attewater ('near to the water'). It could also have originally related to someone who earned a living by navigating waterways.
Watson and Watts would also derive from the same origins, Wat/Watt being a diminutive of Walter, or a contraction of Water, and as such would literally mean 'son of Walter' or 'son of Watt'. These variations were more commonly seen in the north of England and southern Scotland.
In Wales the Water(s) surname was historically most often seen in south Wales, in particular in Monmouthshire, as well as in Pembrokeshire and later, to a lesser extent, in Glamorgan and Breconshire.
- Roger Waters (b. 1943), singer and songwriter and bassist with legendary rock band, Pink Floyd.
- Sarah Ann Waters (b. 1955), Welsh novelist born in Pembrokeshire, Wales. A writer of historical fiction, her most famous works include Tipping the Velvet.
- John Waters (b. 1946), American filmaker, actor and artist. Some of his most famous works include Hairspray and Pink Flamingos.
An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names (1857) by William Arthur
Surnames of the United Kingdom (1912) by Henry Harrison
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