Cotterill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cotterill is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Cotterill is 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.' " [1]

Early Origins of the Cotterill family

The surname Cotterill 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 Edard III.) [2]

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. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Richard Coterell, Devon; Alice Coterel, Cambridgeshire; and Henry Coterel, Bedfordshire. [4]

Important Dates for the Cotterill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cotterill 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 Cotterill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cotterill Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. 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 Cotterill 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 Cotterill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cotterill family to Ireland

Some of the Cotterill 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.

Cotterill migration to the United States

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Cotterill or a variant listed above:

Cotterill Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Cotterill, who arrived in New England in 1668 [5]
Cotterill Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Timothy Cotterill, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1765 [5]
  • Timothy Cotterill, who arrived in Boston in 1765
Cotterill Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Willis Cotterill, who arrived in Colorado in 1891 [5]
Cotterill Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Charles Cotterill, aged 1, who landed in America from Birmingham, England, in 1907
  • Lena Cotterill, aged 10, who landed in America from Wolsall, England, in 1908
  • Louisa Cotterill, aged 6, who landed in America from Manchester, England, in 1911
  • Mary Cotterill, aged 29, who settled in America from Derby, England, in 1911
  • Frank Cotterill, aged 50, who immigrated to the United States from Manchester, England, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Cotterill migration to Australia

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

Cotterill Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Cotterill, English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]

Cotterill migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cotterill Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J. Sylvanus Cotterill, aged 22, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Fifeshire" in 1842
  • Mr. John Cotterill, British settler referred to as the Parkhurst Boys travelling from London aboard the ship "Mandarin" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th November 1843, he had been taught trades and pardoned to live in New Zealand [7]
  • Henry Cotterill, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863
  • Harriet Cotterill, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863
  • Alice Cotterill, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Cotterill (post 1700)

  • George Fletcher Cotterill (1865-1958), American civil servant and politician
  • Matthew S. Cotterill, American politician, Member of Nebraska Territorial House of Representatives, 1860 [8]
  • George Fletcher Cotterill (1865-1958), American Democrat politician, Member of Washington State Senate, 1907-11; Mayor of Seattle, Washington, 1912-14; Commissioner, Port of Seattle, 1922-34 [8]
  • C. T. Cotterill, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Kentucky, 1972 [8]
  • Stephen "Steve" Cotterill (b. 1964), retired English footballer and current manager of Nottingham Forest
  • James Cotterill (b. 1982), retired English footballer
  • George Huth Cotterill (1868-1950), England international footballer, son of George Edward Cotterill
  • George Edward Cotterill (1839-1913), English cricketer
  • Colin Cotterill (b. 1952), English-born, Australian teacher, writer and cartoonist
  • Rodney Cotterill (1933-2007), Anglo-Danish physicist and neuroscientist
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Cotterill family

Empress of Ireland
  • Mrs. Liza Oakley Cotterill (1861-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from London, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Frank Cotterill, British Boy, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [10]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Henry "Harry" Cotterill (d. 1912), aged 20, English Second Class passenger from Penzance, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [11]


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from
  9. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from
  10. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from
  11. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from
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