The name Reeder is of Anglo-Saxon/English which is considered occupational in origin, deriving from craftsmen who fashioned the thatched roofs of cottages and homes . Reeder is a compound of two medieval English words, hreod which translates “to thatch” or “woven with reeds” and er which translates to “man” or “person”.
Surnames in Britain prior to the Norman conquest were largely unheard of. In the small settlements and villages which existed during earlier times, residents found little need for surnames as everyone in these communities new each other and a given name would usually suffice. However, with the passage of time, population growth and expansions of communities as villages gave way to towns and cities, it became necessary to add a qualifier to a people's names to distinguish them, one from another. Therefore one person may have been identified by their given name plus their occupation while another may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent's names. The introduction of surnames by the Norman aristocracy after the invasion seemed to be the next logical step in this evolution. There was a boundless supply from which surnames could be formed, in addition to the use of patriarchal/matriarchal names or reference to the individuals occupational, there were things such as defining physical traits, to a familiar geographical location or a topographical landmark found near the individuals home or birthplace, the name of the village in which the person lived, and so much more. Soon, surnames would come not just to represent an individual but whole families.
There often exists variations in spelling of many surname's, as with many names which date back to the early centuries. The variation in spelling of both given and surnames during this time period can be attributed to a lack of continuity regarding guidelines for spelling which was compounded by the diversity of languages in use in European countries at this time. The variations in the spelling of the surname Milton include but not limited to; Reeder, Reader, Readers, and Reder among others.
The earliest record of any variation of this surname is that of Adam le Redere which appears in the Cambridgeshire tax rolls from 1273. These rolls, were a series of census and tax records kept by the English Treasury by order of King Edward I, with the oldest dating back to the 12th century. They hold the distinction of being the oldest consecutive set of records detailing English governance in the United Kingdom. These records span a period of over 700 years and have proven invaluable to researches over the years. Additional tax rolls show records of Symon le Redere from Suffolk in 1279 and William Redere who lived in Norfolk was the rector of Baldswell as of 1429.
The first recorded immigrant to America bearing the surname or any variation of the spelling was David Reeder who arrived in 1630 and settled in Salem, Massachusetts. Micheal Reeder landed and settled in Pennsylvania in 1741 and Jacob Reeder arrived and settled in Pennsylvania in 1742.
There were also many immigrants to the British Common Wealth countries of Canada and Australia bearing the surname Reeder. Brothers, Evan and William Reeder landed in 1831 and settled in Canada as did Moses Reeder in 1841. Brothers, John Reeder landed in 1823 and settled in Australia.
Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Lockwood are found in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand . By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Reeder live in Utah.
There are many persons of note who bear the surname Reeder. Major-General William Oliver Reeder was an American military officer who served in the United States Army and was a World War II veteran. Included in his service to his country, Reeder was the Commandant of the Army Signal, Assistant Chief of Staff in the Southern Pacific Region during World War II, and Deputy Director for Commands and Services' Logistics Division, General Staff of the U.S. Army. For meritorious service, he was awarded the Legion of Merit Award.
Andrew Reeder was born in Easton, Pennsylvania. He studied law and became the first governor of the Kansas Territory.
Carolyn Reeder was born in Washington, D.C. and was an award winning author of children's books on historical fiction, having won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical and an author of adult non-fiction. Reeder was also a contributing editor to the Washington Post where she wrote a children's column on history.