This is unusual surname is French and residential. It is believed to be a localised dialectal derivation of the surname d'Agier, meaning from (the village of) Agier. Recorded in the spellings of Atger and Attarge, and possibly with other spellings such as Attard, Attelais, Attagean, and Attelin, the origination is probably the Roman-Latin "ager" meaning a cultivated field. The surname therefore describes a person who lived at a village by cultivated lands. This is a logical prognosis although by no means proven, but a high number of both French and British locational surnames owe their origins to words introduced by the Romans between the fifth century b.c. and the fourth century a.d. Sadly the French Revolution of 1789 - 1792 lead to the destruction of most early church registers, and in this case such examples as we have been able to find are 18th and 19th century. They include Marie Madeline Attelais of the city of Rouen, recorded there on November 21st 1796, and Jean Baptiste Attarge, at St Germain-en-Late, department of Seine, on February 11th 1805. The earliest proven example is probably that Maria Attelin, at Conde-sur-L'Escaut, department of the Nord, on December 6th 1673. This was during the reign of King Louis X1V of France, known as "The Sun King", 1643 - 1715.
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