An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, French
The name Cotton is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived in one of a number of similarly named settlements throughout England. Coton is found in Cambridgeshire, while Cotton was in Cheshire. There are places called Coatham in Durham and the North Riding of Yorkshire. Cotham is in Nottinghamshire. Settlements named Cottam exist in both Nottinghamshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire. All of these names stem from the Old English phrase ęt cotum, which means at the cottages. Thus, the surname Cotton belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.
The surname Cotton was first found in Huntingdonshire where the Cotton spelling is listed in the Domesday Book as resident of the Toseland hundred, in the land of the Bishop of Lincoln.  They were traditional Lords of the manor of Connington. The Coton spelling boasts no fewer than seven listing in the Domesday Book in various counties. The first record of the name was found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 where Robert de Cottone was listed in Cambridgeshire. The same rolls also listed Richard de Cottoune in the same shire, Ralph de Cotun in Northumberland and Richard de Cotton in Norfolk.  The parish of Denton in Huntingdonshire was the family seat of the family in later years. "The church [of Denton] was partly rebuilt about 1665, by Sir John Cotton. Sir Robert Bruce Cotton, whose manuscripts are now in the British Museum, was born here in 1570."  Over in Steeple Gidding another record of the family was found. "Here was a large mansion, the residence of the Cotton family; the avenue to it still remains, and some of the existing cottages are built of the materials which formed the stables." 
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Cotton family name include Cotton, Coton, Cotten, Coten, Cottan, Kotton, Kotten, Koten, Kottan, Cottun, Cotun, Kotun, Kottun, Cottune, Cotune, Cottane, Cottain, Kottain, Kottaun, Cottaun, Kuttune, Cottone, Cottaune and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cotton research. Another 437 words (31 lines of text) covering the years 1630, 1687, 1752, 1549, 1582, 1621, 1598, 1621, 1585, 1652, 1633, 1570, 1631, 1594, 1662, 1621, 1702, 1661, 1679, 1630, 1687, 1635, 1712, 1679, 1681, 1689, 1702, 1695, 1748, 1644, 1717, 1679, 1695, 1695 and 1701 are included under the topic Early Cotton History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 305 words (22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cotton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Cotton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Cotton surname or a spelling variation of the name include :
Cotton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Cotton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Cotton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Cotton Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
Cotton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Cotton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Cotton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Cotton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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: In utraque fortuna paratus
Motto Translation: Prepared for either good or bad fortune.
The Cotton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cotton Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 19 April 2016 at 10:37.