Cato History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Cato family

The surname Cato was 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.

Early History of the Cato family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cato research. Another 67 words (5 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Cato Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Cato family (pre 1700)

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


United States Cato migration to the United States +

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 United States in the 19th Century
  • Eliza Cato, aged 31, who arrived in New York in 1862 [1]
  • Anderson Cato, aged 25, who landed in America, in 1896
Cato Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Carl Cato, aged 27, who landed in America from London, England, in 1910
  • Carlo Cato, aged 18, who immigrated to the United States, in 1913
  • Beatrice M Cato, aged 17, who immigrated 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

Canada Cato migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cato Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Cato, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Cato, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Cato migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cato Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Emma Cato, English convict from Southampton, who was transported aboard the "Angelina" on April 25, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [2]

New Zealand Cato migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cato Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Walter Cato, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • Martha Cato, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • Claudius Cato, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • William Cato, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865

Contemporary Notables of the name Cato (post 1700) +

  • John Keefe Cato (b. 1957), former American relief pitcher
  • Bob Cato (1923-1999), American graphic designer
  • Kelvin T. Cato (b. 1974), American former professional basketball player
  • Sue Cato, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 2000 [3]
  • Sterling G. Cato, American politician, Justice of Kansas Territorial Supreme Court, 1855-58 [3]
  • O. C. Cato, American Democrat politician, Custer County Sheriff; Member of Montana State House of Representatives; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Montana, 1912 (Honorary Vice-President) [3]
  • L. L. Cato, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Alabama, 1860 [3]
  • Giles Cato Jr., American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1936 [3]
  • George C. Cato, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Port Natal, 1884 [3]
  • Doreen Cato, American Democrat politician, Presidential Elector for Washington, 1996 [3]
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Cato Motto +

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.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Angelina voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 171 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/angelina/1844
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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