Ottey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Ottey family

The surname Ottey 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" [2] (Henry Otleghe held lands in Somerset during the reign of Edward III.)

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Mary Henry Hotlay as living there at that time. [3]

Early History of the Ottey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ottey research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1434, 1716, 1601, 1649, 1643, 1644, 1646, 1626, 1670, 1661 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Ottey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ottey Spelling Variations

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 Ottey family name include Ottley, Otley, Oatley, Oteley, Oatly and others.

Early Notables of the Ottey 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 Ottey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Ottey migration to the United States +

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 Ottey surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Ottey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Ottey, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1682 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Ottey (post 1700) +

  • Milton Bruce "Milt" Ottey (b. 1959), Jamaican-born, retired Canadian high jumper, eight-time national champion
  • Merlene Joyce Ottey (b. 1960), Jamaican-born Slovenian track athlete who has won nine gold medals, eleven silver medals and sixteen bronze medals


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ 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)


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