Moten History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Moten was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Moten family lived in Essex. The name, however, descends from the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Mott a town in Cotes du Nord, Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Moten family

The surname Moten was first found in Essex, where the family held a family seat from very early times, having been granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Moate (Irish: An Móta) is a town in County Westmeath, Ireland. In this case the town's name was derived from the term "motte-and-bailey," an early Norman fortification with a wooden or stone keep. The Norman earthwork is still visible behind the buildings on the main street.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed a wide range of spellings throughout ancient England: Motte (without surname), Buckinghamshire; William Moth, Norfolk; Basilia Motte, Cambridgeshire; and Richard Mote, Oxfordshire. [2]

"In the 13th century, Motte, sometimes written Mot, was a common Cambridgeshire name, but it also occurred then in Essex, Hunts, Kent, Bucks, and Oxfordshire." [3]

However, Yorkshire proved to be a stronghold for the family for many years: "The Motts have found a home in this county for at least 600 years. In the 13th century the name of Motte occurred in Bradfield in this county. From the 14th to the 17th century there resided a notable gentle family of Mott at Shalford; some of the members lived at Braintree, in the same neighbourhood, in the 16th and 17th centuries; Sherne Hall, Shalford, was in the possession of the family in the 17th century." [3]

Early History of the Moten family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moten research. Another 152 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1588, 1583, 1686, 1693, 1710, 1693 and 1738 are included under the topic Early Moten History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Moten Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Moten are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Moten include Mott, Motte, Mote, De Mott, De Motte, Demott and others.

Early Notables of the Moten family (pre 1700)

Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Moten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Moten migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Moten, or a variant listed above:

Moten Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Moten, aged 19, who settled in America from Roserea, in 1896
Moten Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Katie Moten, aged 18, who immigrated to the United States from Roscnea, in 1900
  • Lucy E. Moten, aged 40, who landed in America, in 1904
  • James Moten, aged 18, who landed in America from Roscrea, in 1906

Contemporary Notables of the name Moten (post 1700) +

  • William Doyle Moten, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State Senate 2nd District, 1944 [4]
  • Brigadier Murray John Moten (1899-1953), Commanding Officer 17th Australian Infantry Brigade, New Guinea from 1943 to 1945 [5]
  • Bennie Moten (1894-1935), jazz musician


  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, August 30) Murray Moten. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Moten/Murray_John/Australia.html


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