This interesting surname is a patronymic of Pott, which is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. The first source is from a medieval given name, which is an aphetic form of Philpott, which is itself a diminutive of Philip, from the Greek "Philippos" from "philein", to love, and "hippos", horse. The second source is topographical for someone who lived by a depression in the ground, from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "pot", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "pott", pot, used to describe a hole or a pit. The name could also be locational from one of the minor places deriving their name from this element. The surname development since 1115 (see below) includes: Petronilla Potes (1311, Yorkshire); Roger Potte (1352, Yorkshire); and William Pottes (1540, Yorkshire). The modern surname can be found as Pott, Potts, Potkins, and the diminutives include: Potkin, Potte and Potell. One Anthony Potts, aged 27 yrs., was an early emigrant to America, leaving London on board the "Paule", bound for "Virginea", in July 1635. The marriage was recorded in London of Charles Potts and Susannah Wright, on April 9th 1646, at St. Olave's, Hart Street. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Pot, which was dated 1115, in the "Book of Winton", Hampshire, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "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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