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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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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The surname Gotham was 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.

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


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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. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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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