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Gotts Surname Family History


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History of the name

Oxford Dictionary of Surnames continued…

For the surname Gottes it suggests it is an English relationship name, perhaps a variant of Gott with genetival (‘es’).

References include:

These are taken from this website and several are discussed on later pages.

FaNUK was a project set up at the The Bristol Centre for Linguistics at University of the West of England. Their aim was to consider the origins of surnames from the etymological roots, ie from how words evolved. This may have little to do with any location-based ideas. This became the basis of the Oxford Dictionary of Surnames. You can see the detail of the Gott(s) entries here:

FaNUK origin of Gotts

Distribution of Gott and Gotts in 1881 census

From British Surname Atlas

Patrick Palgrave writes regularly on surnames in ‘Let’s Talk’ magazine, and in 2017 used the maps below to review the surname Gotts and Gott.

He considered that the overall distribution of the entries in Northern England and Norfolk follow the pattern of Viking settlement in which case there may be precursors of the surname in Northern Europe. Danelaw was established over the 14 counties which lie to the North and East of England.   Furthermore the distribution of round towers, introduced by the Vikings, is confined to churches in East Anglia.

Etymological thoughts from Ian Gotts, Kings Lynn

GOTTS may have originated as a patronymic form of GOTT, a shortened form of the various Germanic compound names with the first element GOD ( good ) or GOD, GOT ( god ) according to Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames (1988).

If GOTTS is a surname derived from a personal name with the addition of a final possessive -'s', then perhaps this final -'s' was acquired at a relatively late period.

This genitival addition was less common in East Anglia than in other parts of England: it originated in southern or central England, especially in the SW Midlands. It became more numerous in the 17th century.

Therefore whether GOTTS has a patronymic or topographical origin is not easy to determine. - R.A. McKinley, A History of British Surnames (1990).

History of the Gotts name - 3

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