This rare and interesting name derives from "Cotel", a diminutive form of the old French "Cot(t)e", coat of mail (of Germanic origin) with the addition of "ard", a suffix via the old French from the Germanic "hard" usually employed in a pejorative sense to indicate a person given to display. Usually, only the richest classes could afford to have this flexible armour consisting of riveted metal rings which required many hours of skilled labour to construct. Cotelard or Cotil(l)ard is therefore most likely to have arisen as a nickname for a proud wearer of this armour, or perhaps, for a hard or warlike person. One, Beringarius Cotel, a follower of William the Conqueror, was recorded in the 1084 "Geld Roll of Wiltshire". Perrine Cottel was christened in Angers, Faine-et-Loire, France, on February 11th 1701 and Joseph Cotil was christened in Givet, Ardennes on July 19th 1819. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francois Charles Marie Cotilard, (birth), which was dated November 27th 1855, in St. Sampson, Guernsey, during the reign of Queen Victoria, known as "The Great White Queen", 1837 - 1901. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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