Cotrill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Cotrill is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is a name for a serf or bond tenant who held a cottage by service. The name is derived from the Old English cote, which means "shelter," or "cottage."
"In feudal times, 'the coterellus held in absolute villenage and had his person and goods disposed at the pleasure of the Lord.' Kennet's Paroch. Antiq. He was probably so called, like the Cotmanni, or Cottarii of Domesd. from residing in a cottage. Another origin may be from the cotarelli, costeraux, cotemux, mercenary soldiers and freebooters whose trade was war and pillage, (Conf. Brabazon) and who were so called from the coterel, a large knife they carried. Cotgrave defines cotereaux as 'a certaine crue of peasantly outlawes who in old time did much mischiefe unto the nobilitie and clergie.' " 
Early Origins of the Cotrill family
The surname Cotrill was first found in Somerset where Stephan Coterel and Walter Coterel were both listed 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) 
The Pipe Rolls listed William Coterel in 1130 in London and Gerard Coterel in Berkshire in 1170. Later the Assize Rolls on 1288 listed Honde Cotrell. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Richard Coterell, Devon; Alice Coterel, Cambridgeshire; and Henry Coterel, Bedfordshire. 
Early History of the Cotrill family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cotrill research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1691, 1572, 1631, 1621, 1624, 1624, 1615, 1701, 1641, 1654, 1710, 1686, 1758 and 1847 are included under the topic Early Cotrill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cotrill Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Cotterell, Cotterel, Cotteral, Cotteril, Cotterill, Cottral, Cottrall, Cottrell, Cottrel, Coterall, Coterel, Coteril, Coterill, Cotrall, Cotrell, Cottrle, Cotral, Cotraul, Cotrelly and many more.
Early Notables of the Cotrill family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Cotterell DCL (died 1572), from Wiltshire, an English clergyman and academic at the University of Oxford, one of the founding fellows of Jesus College, Oxford; Sir Clement Cotterell (died 1631), an English courtier and politician, Member of Parliament for Grantham (1621-1624) and for Boston in...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cotrill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cotrill family to Ireland
Some of the Cotrill family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cotrill family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Cotrill name or one of its variants: Edward Cotterell who settled in Virginia in 1635; John Cotterell settled in New England in 1655; Timothy Cotterill arrived in Boston in 1765; Edward Cotteral arrived in Pennsylvania in 1772.
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- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
- ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)