Cotter Family History
ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Cotter
include McCotter and Cottar. This name is derived from the Gaelic MacCoitir, originally MacOitir, sept that was located in County Cork in the southern part of Ireland. Ballymacotter, meaning 'Cotters town' still marks their original location.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
The earliest record this Irish name occurs in the ancient documents 'The Annals of the Four Masters' in the year 1142, when the son of MacOitir assumed the Chieftainship and Government of Dublin. The MacOitir referred to was one of the Gaels of the Hebridies. The Cotter families were well established by the year 1300 and in the sixteenth century Fiants there are several references to MacCotters, all of these being from Cork. When Gaelic names were anglicized during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they were often changed to Anglo equivalents that sounded most like their original Gaelic name. The Gaelic names MacOitir and MacCoitir became anglicized to Cotter in the seventeenth century. Notable bearers of the name include William and Thomas Cotter who were Gaelic Poets of that century, and whose songs still survive. Sir James Fitz Edmond Cotter (1630-1705), was a Colonial Governor and the Commander-in-Chief of King James's forces in the Williamite War.
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Cotter