Cotant History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the bearers of the Cotant family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in one of a number of similarly named settlements throughout England. Coton is found in Cambridgeshire, while Cotton was in Cheshire. There are places called Coatham in Durham and the North Riding of Yorkshire. Cotham is in Nottinghamshire. Settlements named Cottam exist in both Nottinghamshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire. All of these names stem from the Old English phrase æt cotum, which means at the cottages. Thus, the surname Cotant belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.
Early Origins of the Cotant family
The surname Cotant was first found in Huntingdonshire where the Cotton spelling is listed in the Domesday Book as resident of the Toseland hundred, in the land of the Bishop of Lincoln.  They were traditional Lords of the manor of Connington. The Coton spelling boasts no fewer than seven listing in the Domesday Book in various counties.
The first record of the name was found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 where Robert de Cottone was listed in Cambridgeshire. The same rolls also listed Richard de Cottoune in the same shire, Ralph de Cotun in Northumberland and Richard de Cotton in Norfolk. 
John Cotton (12th cent.?), "is the author of a valuable treatise on music, first printed by Gerbert in 1784. Of this work there are two manuscripts at Vienna, and one each at Leipzig, Paris, Rome, and Antwerp. A sixth, from which Gerbert printed his edition, was destroyed in the fire at St. Blasien in 1768. " 
Bartholomew de Cotton (d. 1298?), was an English "historian, a monk of Norwich, and probably a native of Cotton in Suffolk, but nothing is known of his life. " 
The parish of Denton in Huntingdonshire was the family seat of the family in later years.
"The church [of Denton] was partly rebuilt about 1665, by Sir John Cotton. Sir Robert Bruce Cotton, whose manuscripts are now in the British Museum, was born here in 1570." 
Over in Steeple Gidding another record of the family was found. "Here was a large mansion, the residence of the Cotton family; the avenue to it still remains, and some of the existing cottages are built of the materials which formed the stables." 
Early History of the Cotant family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cotant research. Another 219 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1630, 1687, 1752, 1549, 1582, 1621, 1598, 1621, 1585, 1652, 1633, 1570, 1631, 1594, 1662, 1621, 1702, 1661, 1679, 1630, 1687, 1635, 1712, 1679, 1681, 1689, 1702, 1695, 1748, 1644, 1717, 1679, 1695, 1695 and 1701 are included under the topic Early Cotant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cotant Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Cotant include Cotton, Coton, Cotten, Coten, Cottan, Kotton, Kotten, Koten, Kottan, Cottun, Cotun, Kotun, Kottun, Cottune, Cotune, Cottane, Cottain, Kottain, Kottaun, Cottaun, Kuttune, Cottone, Cottaune and many more.
Early Notables of the Cotant family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Blessed Thomas Cottam (1549-1582), English Catholic priest and martyr; William Cotton (d. 1621), Bishop of Exeter, 1598 to 1621; John Cotton (1585-1652), English clergyman, American settler in 1633 and became one of the most important New England Puritan ministers; Sir Robert Bruce Cotton of Connington, 1st Baronet (1570-1631), English politician, founder of the Cotton or Cottonian library, an antiquarian and bibliophile, and was the basis of the British Library; Sir Thomas Cotton, 2nd Baronet...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cotant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cotant family to Ireland
Some of the Cotant family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cotant family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Cotant or a variant listed above: Robert Cotton, who arrived in Virginia in 1607, thirteen years before the "Mayflower; John and Sara Cotton who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1633.
Related Stories +
The Cotant 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: In utraque fortuna paratus
Motto Translation: Prepared for either good or bad fortune.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.