This rare surname is locational and derives from a hamlet known as Cotmore House, three miles north of Bicester in Oxfordshire. The origin is Olde English pre 8th century and derives from "Cotta or Cott" - a house plus "Mor or Marr" a fenland or wasteland. These locational surnames were given either to the original land owner or Lord of the Manor and in the original form included the French preposition "de", or the name would be applied to a former inhabitant when he or she, whether voluntarily or otherwise, moved to another area. The Enclosure Acts of the 15th century onwards deprived villagers of their own common grazing rights, forcing them to migrate to the cities, and instantly creating thousands of new name holders. The surname "Cotemore" is often confused with similar "Cotesmore", which means the same and is from the same location. Examples of the surname recordings include Mary Cotmore who married Gyles Newark at the famous church of St. Botolph, Bishopgate on November 17th 1595. The name is particulary prominent in the Brize Norton area of Oxford, Anne Cottmore being christened there on May 25th, 1606. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jane Cotmer which was dated April 30th 1572, married Thomas Tyler at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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