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

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

The Gotham surname was a habitational name, from Gotham in Nottinghamshire, which was in turn derived from the Old English "gat," or "goat," and "ham," meaning "homestead."

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Gotham, Gottam, Gottem, Gothame and others.

First found in Nottinghamshire at Gotham, a village south of Nottingham which dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Gatham [1] and literally meant "homestead or enclosure where goats are kept," from the Old English "gat" + "ham or hamm." [2] The village is most famous for the stories of the "Wise Men of Gotham" in which the villagers feigned imbecility when the royal messengers arrived thereby foiling King John's intent to build a hunting lodge there. One reference claim that he said "we ween there are more fools pass through Gotham than remain in it." However, one of the first listing osf the surname was found years later in Essex in the year 1291 when Stephen de Gotham held estates in that shire.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gotham research. Another 185 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1320, 1381, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Gotham History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gotham Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Gotham, who settled in Virginia in 1688

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  11. ...

The Gotham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gotham 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 7 October 2014 at 12:20.

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