Show ContentsCotes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Cotes first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived at the cotes which was in turn derived from the Old English word cote, which means at the cottage, which denotes that the initial bearer of this surname lived in a little cottage. 1 Due to the general meaning of the name, there are a few places named Coates in Britain including places in Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire. 1 The last dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was listed as Cotes. 2

Early Origins of the Cotes family

The surname Cotes was first found in Staffordshire where the family are "descended from Richard de Cotes, who was probably son of Thomas de Coates, living in 1157, when the Black Book of the Exchequer was compiled." 3 At that time, he held large estates on the Salop, Staffordshire borders.

By 1273, the name was scattered throughout England as seen in the Hundredorum Rolls of that year: Egidius de Cotes, Norfolk; Robert de Cotes, Buckinghamshire; and Geoffrey de Cotes, Lincolnshire. And later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Thomas del Cotes; Johannes del Cotes; and Henricus del Cote as all holding lands there at that time. 4

Early History of the Cotes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cotes research. Another 142 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1210, 1273, 1556, 1609, 1682, 1716 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Cotes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cotes Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Cotes has appeared include Coates, Coate, Coats and others.

Early Notables of the Cotes family

Notables of the family at this time include

  • Sir Thomas de Cotes, Knight of a land-holding family in the Salop-Stafford area
  • George Cotes (or Cotys) (died 1556), an English academic and a Catholic bishop during the English Reformation
  • Roger Cotes FRS (1682-1716), an English mathematician, known for working closely with Isaac Newton. He was the second son of the Rev. Robert Cotes, rector of Burbage in Leicestershire, where he was bo...

Ireland Migration of the Cotes family to Ireland

Some of the Cotes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Cotes migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Cotes arrived in North America very early:

Cotes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jo Cotes, aged 17, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Assurance" 5
  • Mr. James Cotes, (b. 1613), aged 22, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Constance" arriving in Virginia in 1635 6
Cotes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Richard Cotes, aged 42, who landed in New York in 1812 5
  • Christopher Cotes, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1846 5
  • William Cotes, who landed in Mississippi in 1892 5

Australia Cotes migration to Australia +

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

Cotes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Cotes, English convict who was convicted in Derby, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Eden" on 27th August 1836, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 7

West Indies Cotes migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 8
Cotes Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. James Cotes, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Matthew" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 9

Contemporary Notables of the name Cotes (post 1700) +

  • Sir Merton Russell- Cotes FRGS (1835-1921), English politician, Mayor of Bournemouth, England (1894–1895)
  • Samuel Cotes (1734-1818), English painter of miniature portraits and also worked in crayons
  • Francis Cotes RA (1726-1770), English painter, known for his pastel painting, founding member of the Royal Academy in 1768, older brother of Samuel Cotes
  • Alfonso Araújo Cotes (1924-2023), Colombian politician, two-time Governor of the Department of Cesar
  • Mr. Thomas Cotes, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1746 to 1747

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. 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)
  6. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved October 5th 2021 from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2021). Retrieved from
  9. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021 from on Facebook