Wotten History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Wotten name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Wotten was originally derived from a family having lived in the county of Kent. Their name, however, is derived from the Old English words wudu, meaning wood, and tun, meaning enclosure or settlement, and indicates that the original bearer of the name lived in a town by a wood. "Besides parishes in many counties, there are innumerable manors, hamlets, and single houses in England so called. The word is Anglo-Saxon, and signifies the woody enclosure." [1]

There are numerous places named Wooton throughout Britain, the oldest is Wooton Bassett in Wiltshire that dates back to 680, followed by Wooton Wawen in Warwickshire that dates back to 716-37 and is obviously a Anglo-Saxon place name. [2]

Early Origins of the Wotten family

The surname Wotten was first found in Kent where they held a family seat at Marlay, before and after the Norman Conquest in 1066. By the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name was scattered throughout Britain as in Robert de Wottone and Thomas de Wodeton in Devon, Fredeshet de Wottone in Buckinghamshire, John atte Wodeton in London and John de Wodeton or John de Wutton in Oxfordshire. [3]

"Wotton, [in the parish of Landrake, Cornwall] which was formerly a seat belonging to an ancient family of the same name, has been totally demolished; but the estate connected with the house was carried with the heiress of Wotton to a branch of the Courtenays, after which it passed in a similar manner to the family of Rowse. " [4]

Early History of the Wotten family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wotten research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1497, 1567, 1541, 1567, 1489, 1551, 1521, 1587, 1521, 1587, 1548, 1628, 1616, 1618, 1604, 1620, 1587, 1630, 1568, 1639, 1682, 1764, 1582, 1669 and 1607 are included under the topic Early Wotten History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wotten Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Wotten include Wooton, Wootton, Wootten, Wooten, Wooter, Wouters and others.

Early Notables of the Wotten family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Nicholas Wotton (c. 1497-1567), an English diplomat, Ambassador to France during the reign of Mary, Dean of Canterbury (1541-1567); and his brother, Sir Edward Wotton (1489-1551), Treasurer of Calais and a privy councillor to Edward VI of England; Thomas Wotton (1521-1587), Sheriff of Kent; Thomas Wotton (1521-1587); and his son, Edward Wotton, 1st Baron Wotton (1548-1628), an English diplomat and administrator, Lord of...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wotten Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wotten migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Wotten Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Wotten, who landed in Portsmouth, NH in 1640 [5]
  • Jenken Wotten, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [5]
  • Faith Wotten, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1685 [5]

New Zealand Wotten migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Wotten Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. David Wotten, (b. 1849), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd December 1870 [6]
  • Mrs. Grace Wotten, (b. 1825), aged 48, Cornish laundress departing on 2nd November 1873 aboard the ship "Isles of the South" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 2nd February 1874 [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Wotten, (b. 1852), aged 21, Cornish groom departing on 2nd November 1873 aboard the ship "Isles of the South" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 2nd February 1874 [7]


  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  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. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf


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