Cothen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Cothen surname was a habitational name, from Gotham in Nottinghamshire, which was in turn derived from the Old English "gat," or "goat," and "ham," meaning "homestead."

Early Origins of the Cothen family

The surname Cothen was first found in Nottinghamshire at Gotham, a village south of Nottingham which dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Gatham [1] and literally meant "homestead or enclosure where goats are kept," from the Old English "gat" + "ham or hamm." [2]

The village is most famous for the stories of the "Wise Men of Gotham" in which the villagers feigned imbecility when the royal messengers arrived thereby foiling King John's intent to build a hunting lodge there.

One reference claims that he said "we ween there are more fools pass through Gotham than remain in it." However, one of the first listing of the surname was found years later in Essex in the year 1291 when Stephen de Gotham held estates in that shire.

Gotham was a nickname for New York City first attributed by Washington Irving in 1807 in his Salmagundi, a periodical which lampooned New York culture and politics. Apparently he took the name from Gotham Nottinghamshire. Bill Finger and Bob Kane decided that the fictional "Gotham City" would be appropriate home for their comic book character Batman.

Early History of the Cothen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cothen research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1320, 1381, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Cothen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cothen Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gotham, Gottam, Gottem, Gothame and others.

Early Notables of the Cothen family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Cothen family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Thomas Gotham, who settled in Virginia in 1688; John Gothen, who came to New York in 1832; as well as Lorinda Gotham, who was on record in the census of Ontario, Canada of 1871..


Contemporary Notables of the name Cothen (post 1700) +

  • Grady C. Cothen (1920-2017), American pastor, state convention executive secretary-director for the Southern Baptist Convention


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)


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