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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Cato family come from? What is the Scottish Cato family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cato family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cato family history?

It was in the Scottish/English Borderlands that the Strathclyde-Briton people first used the ancient name Cato. It was a name for someone who lived in Norfolk, England; or the name may also be from Chetel, an Old Norse and Old English given name.

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Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. Cato has appeared as Catto, Cattoch, Cattow, Kitto, Citto, Chatto, Chattoch, Chetto, Cato and many more.

First found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cato research. Another 305 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1403, 1597, and 1633 are included under the topic Early Cato History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Cato Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The North American colonies beckoned, with their ample land and opportunity as their freedom from the persecution suffered by so many Clan families back home. Many Scots even fought against England in the American War of Independence to gain this freedom. Recently, clan societies have allowed the ancestors of these brave Scottish settlers to rediscover their familial roots. Among them:

Cato Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Eliza Cato, aged 31, arrived in New York in 1862
  • Anderson Cato, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1896

Cato Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Carl Cato, aged 27, who landed in America from London, England, in 1910
  • Carlo Cato, aged 18, who emigrated to the United States, in 1913
  • Beatrice M Cato, aged 17, who emigrated to America, in 1913
  • Elizabeth Cato, aged 11, who settled in America from Kingston, Jamaica, in 1913
  • Ehan Cato, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1922

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  • Kelvin T. Cato (b. 1974), American former professional basketball player
  • Bob Cato (1923-1999), American graphic designer
  • John Keefe Cato (b. 1957), former American relief pitcher
  • John Cyril Cato (1889-1971), Australian photographer, portraitist and author
  • Suzy Cato (b. 1968), Australian-born New Zealand children's entertainer
  • Noah Cato (b. 1988), English rugby union player
  • Nancy Fotheringham Cato (1917-2000), Australian writer
  • Jan Magnus Cato (b. 1967), Swedish Olympic handball player


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Omnibus amicus
Motto Translation: A friend to everyone.

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  1. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  6. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  7. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Cato Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cato Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 1 June 2013 at 18:43.

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