This very early surname recorded in the spellings of Got, Gott, Gottes, and Gotts, is English but possibly of early Breton pre 7th century origins. It derives either from the personal name "Gotscelin", or the nickname "Gutt". On the face of it this was used for a large person or one with a major appetite, but this may not be the case! The name Gutt seems to have been regarded as complimentary, and may even have been an endearment, as is shown by the many examples of its recording when it was clearly a baptismal name. Two examples include Gutt, filius Wulfric, (Gutt, the son of Wulfric) in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire for the year 1188, and Gilbertus filius Gotte, in Lincoln in 1195. Amongst the early examples of the hereditary surname are those of Haldane Gotte, in the Assize Court register for the city of Lincoln in 1202, and Geoffrey Gottes in the land charters of the county of Norfolk in the year 1346. The name seems to have been partiularly popular in the early days, in both Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, although why this should be so is unclear. The first recording of the surname in any spelling is probably that of Godui Gott, in the register of the abbey of Bury St Edmunds, in the year 1095. This was during the reign of King William 11, known as "Rufus", 1087 - 1100. "Rufus", generally regarded as being a very unpleasant person, holds the unique record of being "killed by his own arrow", or so it was claimed by his "loyal" servants. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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