This is a baptisimal name 'the son of Theodoric' an Olde German name meaning 'people's rule'. The Olde English form of the name was Theodric and Terry became the nickname in Medieval times. Terry appears as a forename (without surname) in the hundred Rolls of Yorkshire, (1273). It is recorded as a surname in the Assize Court Rolls of Warwickshire (1221). In the modern idiom, the name has eight spelling variations: Terrey, Terry, Terris, Tarry, Todrick, Torrey, Torrie and Torry. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Teri. which was dated 1199, Register of the Freemen of Leicester. during the reign of King John, Nickname, Lackland, 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.