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Gatters live today on all continents. They originally came from Central Europe. Despite the name being fairly rare (world telephone directories list about 400-450 families), the roots of this family are surprisingly diverse. In the 16th and 17th centuries Gatters appeared in many locations on the Southern and Eastern borders of the German Empire as well as in the English Southwest.
The Gatter book will contain detailed distribution maps on where the Gatters lived in the 16th and 17th centuries and to where they spread over time. Here the distribution of Gatter families in the year 2000 is given.

Over time, the name of our family has known many spellings. They range from Gatter to Kater, from Gotr to Kotter, and Gater to Gather. That we are today called Gatter - and not Gothar, Gaither, Yeater, Jatter, Gattermann, Gattrer, Gatterer, etc. - is mere coincidence.

The Gatter book will not only discuss the variations of the name and their abundance, but will also give distribution maps for different spellings. It will discuss the reasons for spelling changes and will dwell upon the name's origin and meaning. Here a little extract...

The Gatter book will contain a chapter on the history of every known branch of the Gatter family. By your help and by research in archives, I am trying to trace back all lines, and if possible connect them to other branches. All known descendants of the earliest ancestor will be listed.
The lines are descibed in their historical setting. The book will be illustrated with contemporary engravings and maps of each area, and hopefully also with old family photographs that you make available to this project. In addition, the life story of selected Gatters of each line will be presented. Also here I am dependent on data that you will make available.
In this section of my website a brief description of all Gatter branches is given. For reasons of privacy, no genealogical data will be given on living Gatters. If you want to add information on your Gatter branch, then kindly send it to me and I shall add it to this site.
The testing of DNA in Genealogy is the latest addition to this science. DNA testing allows us to establish whether Gatter lines that cannot be connected by conventional Parish Register data, share a common ancestor. This common forefather may have lived hundreds of years ago. Still the analyzes of the genes will tell us if there is a link. This opens up also new possibilities for Gatters outside of Europe, whose link to their ancestry has been lost when looking for a better place in the New World. DNA analysis will help to place then among the European Gatter lines.
DNA analyzis can also bee used to establish our "deep genealogy". DNA can tells us to which part of the human migrations that took place tens of thousands of years ago, our ancestors belonged. The results for the Gatter males tested so far are more than fascinating.

During the 1920s and 1930s a "Gatter Wagen" was built in several models. Willibald Gatter of Hühnerwasser in Nothern Bohemia was its constructor. The car was celebrated by the press as the "Volksauto", a "Peoples Car" - small, relatively fast, and above all, affordable for the middle classes. It was a first "Volkswagen", bulit long before Willibald Gatter's friend old time friend and colleague Ferinand Porsche, built on Hitlers suggestion his "Volkswagen" in 1937.
The Gatter book will trace the fate of the Gatter Car production and its constructor. Click on the car photo to learn a bit more and see some shots of the Gatter-Mobile.

Many places in Germany and Austria carry the name 'Gatter'. Like a belt they are situated around the northwestern and southwestern edges of Bohemia - in Eastern Germany, Bavaria, and lower Austria.
These town are areas may be the places of origin of some Gatter Families. Others, like the Gattersburg - the "Gatter-Castle" were named after Gatters. The book will present these town and their history in an extra chapter.


What was the Gatter Novelty Co.?
Click on the photo and see for yourself.

Send me your comments, queries, complaints and the like, or send me material that you would like to appear in the Gatter book or on this website.

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