Otey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Otey is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in the parish of Oteley found in the counties of Shropshire, Suffolk and the West Riding of Yorkshire. [1] Otey is derived from the Old English elements "ote," or "oats" and "leah," meaning "a clearing." [2]

Otley in the West Riding of Yorkshire as "in the Domesday Survey [as] Othelia, is supposed to have derived the name from Othe or Otho, its Saxon proprietor. It formed the principal portion of an extensive manor or liberty, which was granted by Athelstan to the see of York. The archbishops had a residence here, and their successors to this day are lords of the manor and liberty." [3]

Early Origins of the Otey family

The surname Otey was first found in Suffolk where the first record of the family was found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 as Richard de Otteleye. Kirby's Quest lists "Henry Otleghe, Somerset, Edward III" [4] (Henry Otleghe held lands in Somerset during the reign of Edward III.)

Tor de Ottalay was listed in Yorkshire (1148-1156); Thomas de Otteleg was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1225 in Suffolk; and Paulinus de Otteley was found in the Feet of Fines for Yorkshire in 1301. [5]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Mary Henry Hotlay as living there at that time. [6]

Early History of the Otey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Otey research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1425, 1434, 1716, 1601, 1649, 1643, 1644, 1646, 1626, 1670, 1661 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Otey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Otey Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Otey are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. 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. The variations of the name Otey include: Ottley, Otley, Oatley, Oteley, Oatly and others.

Early Notables of the Otey family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Francis Ottley (1601-1649), English Royalist knight, military governor of Shrewsbury in 1643 and later High Sheriff of Shropshire (1644-1646)...
Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Otey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Otey Ranking

In the United States, the name Otey is the 9,302nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]


United States Otey migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Otey or a variant listed above:

Otey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Otey, who landed in Virginia in 1724 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Otey (post 1700) +

  • Phyllis A. Otey, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1944 (alternate), 1948 [9]
  • Peter Johnston Otey (1840-1902), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from Virginia 6th District, 1895-1902 [9]
  • John E. Otey, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Virginia 8th District, 1996 [9]
  • James Otey, American politician, Postmaster at Liberty, Virginia, 1796-97 [9]
  • George Otey, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 2004 [9]
  • Elizabeth Lewis Otey, American politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Virginia, 1932 [9]
  • E. G. Otey, American Democratic Party politician, Treasurer of West Virginia Democratic Party, 1964 [9]
  • Armistead Otey, American politician, Postmaster at Liberty, Virginia, 1797-1801 [9]
  • Brigadier-General Dabney Otey Elliott (1890-1976), American Commanding General Army Service Forces Training Center (1944-1946) [10]


  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  8. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, February 29) Dabney Elliott. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Elliott/Dabney_Otey/USA.html


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