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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Gotham family come from? What is the English Gotham family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gotham family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gotham family history?

The Gotham surname was a habitational name, from Gotham in Nottinghamshire, which was in turn derived from the Old English "gat," or "goat," and "ham," meaning "homestead."

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Gotham, Gottam, Gottem, Gothame and others.

First found in Nottinghamshire at Gotham, a village south of Nottingham which dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Gatham [1] and literally meant "homestead or enclosure where goats are kept," from the Old English "gat" + "ham or hamm." [2] The village is most famous for the stories of the "Wise Men of Gotham" in which the villagers feigned imbecility when the royal messengers arrived thereby foiling King John's intent to build a hunting lodge there. One reference claim that he said "we ween there are more fools pass through Gotham than remain in it." However, one of the first listing osf the surname was found years later in Essex in the year 1291 when Stephen de Gotham held estates in that shire.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gotham research. Another 185 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1320, 1381, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Gotham History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Gotham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gotham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Gotham, who settled in Virginia in 1688

Gotham Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Lorinda Gotham, who was on record in the census of Ontario, Canada of 1871

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  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)

Other References

  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Gotham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gotham 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 7 October 2014 at 12:20.

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