Recorded in several forms including the usual Stott, Stotte, Stoat, Stoate, Stoad, and Stutt, this ancient surname is of pre 7th century Olde English origins. It derives from the word 'stot' meaning 'cattle', and was originally given either as an occupational surname for a cattle breeder or as a nickname for one who was 'as wild as a bull'. As the surname is amongst the earliest recorded, this would suggest a testimony to the importance of the nameholders in the economy and society of the pre Medieval period, however several nameholders, mainly female, appear in the early court rolls, suggesting that the nickname was not always misplaced! Early examples of the surname recordings include John Stotte in the 1296 Subsidy Rolls of the county of Sussex, and Elena la Stott in the Colchester Court rolls for the year 1312. Agnes Stotwylde is recorded in the Wills Registry of Norwich, Norfolk, in 1436, although this particular spelling would seem to have been long extinct. The surname is particularly well recorded in East Lancashire, and examples taken from the Chester Wills Registry include Charles Stott of Rochdale in 1634, Whilst Francis Stott embarked from Gravesend, Kent, on April 5th 1635, on the ship 'Paul of London'. One of the early colonists, he was bound for St Christopher's, in the West Indies, whilst Rebecca Stoat, who married Joseph Wetton at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 30th 1862, was an example of the later spellings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gamel Stot, which was dated 1165, in the county pipe rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry II, 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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