Show ContentsCothran History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Cothran comes from when the family resided in the town of Coddington, Cheshire. Although there are locations of the same name in Nottingham and Herefordshire, the Cheshire branch of the family is thought to be the source of most, if not all, cases of the name.

Early Origins of the Cothran family

The surname Cothran was first found in Cheshire at Coddington, a civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire West. The place name dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Cotintone. Coddington is also located in Nottinghamshire (a village), Derbyshire (home of two farms) and Herefordshire (a tiny hamlet.) The Domesday Book lists Cotintone in Nottinghamshire and Cotingtune in Herefordshire. [1] The place name literally means "estate associated with a man called Cot(t)a," from the Old English personal names + "ing" + "tun." [2]

Early History of the Cothran family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cothran research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1601, 1678, 1630, 1651, 1689 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Cothran History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cothran Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Cothran has been recorded under many different variations, including Coddington, Codington and others.

Early Notables of the Cothran family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Coddington High Sheriff of Dublin. William Coddington (1601-1678) was founder and 1st Governor of Rhode Island, United States. He was a native of Lincolnshire and was chosen in England to be an 'assistant' or magistrate to the colony at Massachusetts Bay. Arriving at Salem 12 June 1630, along with...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cothran Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cothran Ranking

In the United States, the name Cothran is the 4,533rd most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Cothran family to Ireland

Some of the Cothran family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 66 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 Cothran migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Cothran or a variant listed above:

Cothran Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • John Cothran, aged 66, who arrived in New York in 1913 aboard the ship "S. V. Luckenbach" from San Juan, Puerto Rico [4]
  • John T. Cothran, aged 71, originally from New Rochelle, N.Y., who arrived in New York in 1918 aboard the ship "Brazos" from San Juan, Puerto Rico [4]
  • Perrin C. Cothran, aged 36, who arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Vauban" from Rio de Janeiro [4]
  • Harold Cothran, aged 21, who arrived in New York in 1924 aboard the ship "Reliance" from Hamburg via Southampton and Cherbourg [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cothran (post 1700) +

  • Thomas P. Cothran, American jurist, Associate Justice of South Carolina (1921-1934)
  • Charlene E. Cothran, American journalist and the publisher
  • Jeffrey Lance "Jeff" Cothran (b. 1971), former American football fullback who played from 1994 to 2001
  • Keith Cothran (b. 1986), American professional basketball player
  • Shirley Cothran (b. 1953), American beauty pageant titleholder, Miss Texas (1974), Miss American (1975)
  • James Sproull Cothran (1830-1897), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina (1887-1891)
  • Thomas Perrin Cothran (1857-1934), American Democratic Party politician, Member of South Carolina State House of Representatives, 1904-10, 1914-21; Speaker of the South Carolina State House of Representatives, 1918-21 [5]
  • Raymond J. Cothran, American Republican politician, Mayor of Lockport, New York, 1959 [5]
  • James W. Cothran, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1956 [5]
  • James Sproull Cothran (1830-1897), American Democratic Party politician, Circuit Judge in South Carolina, 1881-86; U.S. Representative from South Carolina 3rd District, 1887-91 [5]

The Cothran 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: Nec metuas nec optes
Motto Translation: Neither fear nor wish.

  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)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from on Facebook