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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. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  5. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  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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