Recorded in England as Cottey, Cottie, Cotty, Chotty and possibly others, this is a surname which is said to be of ancient Breton-French origins. It is claimed to be job descriptive, and similar to the surname Cutler, which describes a maker of knives and swords, this surname originates from the word "cotte". This word described either a soldier who wore chain mail armour, or more likely a person who made such expensive "garments". In the later medieval times around the 15th century, a 'cote' took on a general meaning of an outer garment with sleeves. Job descriptive surnames became hereditary when a son followed his father into the same line of business. This surname seems to be particularly associated with Cornwall and the West County of England. The Cornish were literally related to the Bretons of Brittany in France by sharing the same Celtic ancestry, they also traded with them over many centuries. The famous Huguenot protestant reformers who caused the the kings of France such anguish, were also from Brittany and many fled to England in the 17th century. Early recordings include: William Cottie of St. Columb Major, Cornwall on July 30th 1567; Jacob Cothey, who married Grace Hodge at Tregony, Cornwall, on March 18th 1682; and in the city of London, George Chotty and his wife Anne, who were christening witnesses at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on September 19th 1721. The first recorded spelling of the family name may be that of Adam Cotella. This was dated 1167, in the Pipe Rolls of Dorset, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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