The family name in German is Kettenring. The family originally were Swiss and lived near the German border. The first spelling of Kettenring was found in records at Nurenburg, Germany where in 1401 Fritz Kettenring was awarded a fief house (half house)and courtyard by Count Rudolph. The award was for developing a chain that would not kink.The early Kettenrings were metal workers. The spelling Kettenring is similar to the English name "Smith".
This is probably the origin of our name. Kettenring in German is translated "chain ring" in English.
Now for the various spellings. The first spelling of Catron was found in the records of the Virginia Militia in 1774
when seven of the family were enrolled in the Virginia Militia. These were the sons of the early immigrants. For the most part the spelling stuck. Some maintained Kettenring
while others adopted the more Anglicanized "Catron" spelling.
The first spelling of Ketron I have found was in the 1820 census of Washington County, Virginia. However the spelling
didn't become prominant until the 1840's.
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