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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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 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 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

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

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

Cato Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Walter Cato arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • Martha Cato arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • Claudius Cato arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
  • William Cato arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865

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  • 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
  • Jan Magnus Cato (b. 1967), Swedish Olympic handball player
  • Nancy Fotheringham Cato (1917-2000), Australian writer
  • Noah Cato (b. 1988), English rugby union player
  • Suzy Cato (b. 1968), Australian-born New Zealand children's entertainer
  • John Cyril Cato (1889-1971), Australian photographer, portraitist and author


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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. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  2. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  3. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  4. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  5. 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).
  6. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  10. 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.
  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 27 November 2014 at 09:43.

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