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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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
  • Sue Cato, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Arkansas, 2000
  • Sterling G. Cato, American politician, Justice of Kansas Territorial Supreme Court, 1855-58
  • 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)
  • L. L. Cato, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Alabama, 1860
  • Giles Cato Jr., American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1936
  • George C. Cato, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Port Natal, 1884
  • Doreen Cato, American Democrat politician, Presidential Elector for Washington, 1996

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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. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  2. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  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 5 January 2016 at 00:35.

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