Cottis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Cottis family bears a name that was brought to England by the wave of emigration that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from refined or "denoting a man of good education." [1]. The name is derived from the Old French word curteis, which means refined or accomplished. [2]

"William de Curtis was of Normandy, 1180; Robert Curteis gave lands to Gloucester Abbey, temp. Rufus. William le Curteis, temp. Henry II., was a benefactor to West Dereham Abbey, Norfolk." [3]

Early Origins of the Cottis family

The surname Cottis was first found in Warwickshire where the name first appeared as a forename as in Curteis de Capella who was listed in the Pipe Rolls for 1130. By 1200, the Curia Regis Rolls listed Curteis de Catebr in Cambridgeshire and in Bedfordshire, Richard Curteis was found in the Pipe Rolls for 1166. The name was scattered throughout Britain since early times as Robert le Curteis was found in the Pipe Rolls for Devon in 1168 and Ralph le Curtoys was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1230. Up in Yorkshire, John le Korteys was listed at Kirkstall in 1238 and in Sussex, John Corties was found in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists: William le Curteis in Cambridgeshire; Walter Curteys in Oxfordshire; Osbert le Curteys in Essex; Henry Corteys in Devon; and Richard le Corteys in Oxfordshire. [4] Over one hundred years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists Adam Curtase and Johannes Cartas. [4]

We found this interesting entry for one the family in the town of Lostwithiel, Cornwall: "The church contains a memorial for Tristram Curtys, Esq. who died in the year 1423. This family, which is now extinct, occasionally represented this borough from the reign of Edward I. to that of Henry V. Tristram Curtys was member for Lostwithiel in the 9th of Henry V. Leland speaks of his descendant as having 100 marks of land, between Blowgham and Penknek, by Lostwithiel. " [5]

The name is "best represented in Buckinghamshire, and afterwards in Nottinghamshire. This is an ancient English name, occurring, as it does now, in Buckinghamshire, Essex, and Lincolnshire in the reign of Edward I.; it was also at that time numerous in Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. Characteristic of the south, and east of England south of the Humber." [6]

Early History of the Cottis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cottis research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1130, 1168, 1531, 1534, 1532, 1582, 1550, 1552, 1553, 1553, 1556, 1559, 1566, 1566, 1582, 1746, 1816, 1662, 1663, 1762, 1769, 1771, 1775, 1746, 1799, 1746, 1740, 1832, 1740, 1778, 1819 and 1818 are included under the topic Early Cottis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cottis Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Curtis, Curtiss, Curtyss, Curtys, Curtess, Curtes, Cortes, Cortis and many more.

Early Notables of the Cottis family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Cottis, Scottish Prior of Restenneth (1531-1534.) Richard Curteys (1532?-1582), bishop of Chichester, was a native of Lincolnshire. He received his academical education at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he was elected to a scholarship on the Lady Margaret's foundation on 6 Nov. 1550. He proceeded B.A. in 1552-1553, was elected a fellow of his college on the Lady Margaret's foundation on 25 March 1553, and commenced M.A. in 1556. During the reign of Queen Mary he remained unmolested at the university. He was appointed senior fellow of his college on 22 July 1559...
Another 356 words (25 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cottis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Cottis family to Ireland

Some of the Cottis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cottis family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Cottis or a variant listed above: Deodate Curtis who settled in Braintree in the state of Maine in 1643. Henry Curtis settled in Windsor in 1645; and another Henry Curtis settled in Sudbury in 1636. No fewer than 12 notable settlers settled in the New Colonies within the period from 1630 to 1680.


Contemporary Notables of the name Cottis (post 1700) +

  • James Cottis, English politician for Rochford District Council, 2010
  • Jessica Cottis (b. 1979), Australian-born, British conductor, the first Postgraduate Conducting Fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  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. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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