This interesting name is a diminutive of 'Cotter', a medieval status surname introduced by the Normans. It derives from the Middle English 'cotter' which was a technical term of status in the feudal system for a serf or bond tenant who held his cottage by labour service rather than by paying rent. In the Domesday Book of 1086, the term is used (to denote status) as 'coterellus' the Old French being 'coterel', a diminutive of 'cotier', cottages. Recordings from London Church Registers include; William Cotterill, who married Ann Young on July 30th 1632 at St.Bride's, Fleet Street, and Joseph, son of Thomas and Phebe Cotterrill, who was christened on July 21st 1745 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is silver with a black bend nebulee, the Crest being a hand holding a glove proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Coterel, which was dated 1130, The London Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 1st, 'The Lion of Justice', 1100 - 1135. 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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