COTTON SURNAME ORIGINS

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Members of Family 11 of the Cotton DNA Project include the surnames COTTON, COTTAM AND COTHAM. The Cotton surname has been proven back to Roland Cotton born London, England 1558. The Cottam surname shows a lineage back to St. Michael on Wyre, Lancashire, England to a Thomas Cottam circa 1740 and a William Cottam born 1779.

Surprisingly, a link between the Cottam and the Cotton surnames has resulted from the results of my recent Big Y Test and these results placement in the Big Tree Project. The Cotton DNA Project attempts to bridge genealogical proofs with DNA Test results. Fortunately for Family 11, the Cotton surname genealogical proof has been confirmed by a large number of prestigious lineage and hereditary societies. In addition, the Family DNA Big Y test is the most extensive DNA test available. As shown below in yellow highlight, the Cotton line’s placement has been further defined several more subclades or subgroupings under Haplogroup R-ZZ7, as follows:

The subclade DYS435=12 groups the Cotton line solidly with the Irish Sea or Leinister Modality as the group is dominated by Z16430 and the Irish Clan O’Byrne. The Byrne family is named after the King of Leinster “Braen mac Máelmórda”, who was deposed in 1018. However,  along with the Clan Byrne subclade Z16430 is the subclade BY2573 containing a Byrne ,two Singletons and a Cotton (me). Further research seems to indicate that the Singletons took their name from the Lancashire township of Singleton.Later, in the early 12th Century,  a Singleton purchased land in the nearby township of Cottam and took the surname “de Cottam”. As a result, it seems that a potential nexus of historical and DNA data exists showing that Cottam and Cotton surnames derive from the Singleton family of Lancashire early in the 14th century.

“The Lancashire Chartulary, Series XX. Charter No. II (A.D. 1153-1160 Stephen to Henry II) shows the confirmation of William Warren, Count of Mortain, to Ughtred, son of Huck de Singleton, of the village of Broughton in Amounderness. “ A note by the Chetham Society, XXX. Page 5, in their Latin comments about the Charter state, “Broctun, now Broughton, in the parish of Preston, was assessed to Danegeld in 1066 as on teamland, and was a member of Earl Tostig’s great manor of Preston in Amounderness. Hucca or Uck is the Anglo Saxon Hoc, a tribal name retained in the place name “Hucking”. The individual so named in the charter seems to have been the successor of the preconquest thane or drengh of Broughton, and Singleton. He was the ancestor of the Singleton family, which with its various offshoots at one time held estates in Amounderness. Ughtred, son of Huck, is frequently mentioned in charters and other records of the time of Henry II. At Michaelmas, 23 Henry II, 1177, he rendered account at the Treasury of 5 marks to have the King’s confirmation or warranty of land which he held by the gift of Geoffrey de Valoiness…” Based on this charter and the notes of the Chetham Society, the following lineage has been established.⁠1

Huck (Ecke) de Singleton (lived about 1125)

Ughtred (Uctred) de Singleton (lived about 1153)

Robert de Singleton (lived about 1180)

Richard de Cottam (lived about 1204) Richard, son of Robert, owned land in the village of Cottam and thus changed his surname to conform to the common practice “of being from a place” i.e. Robert de Singleton and Richard de Cottam.  (Pipe Roll, No. 71, m.I.) From the Cockersand Chartulary it appears that Richard de Cottam was son of Robert, son of Ughtred, who was brother of Richard de Singleton (1180-1212)⁠2

† Geoffrey de Cottam

† John de Cottam

† Richard de Cottam

Writ dated at Westminster, June 10th, 21st year of Edward I (1293), directed to the sheriff of Lancaster and his coroners, reciting the same terms as the previous writ (No. LXXI) the petition of the venerable father R. Bishop of Coventre and Lichfield respecting the lands and chattels of Richard de Cotton, clerk, which had been taken into the King’s hands owing to a charge against the said Richard, of the death of William le pauper, and directing the sherif to make inquiry as to the said Richard’s conversation and reputation….. By the oath of 12 free and liege men of the neighborhood of Amundernesse, who say that Richard de Cotton is of good and honest conversation and of good report nor was he ever a public or notorious malefactor except for the death of William le Paumere of which he was accused (arectatus) before the Justices in the last eyre at Lancaster, of which he afterwards solely vindicated (expurgavit) his innocence.⁠3

† John de Cottam (lived about 1344)

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1 Singleton, Sam, Singleton Family Association. A History of John Singleton of American Fork, Utah, His Ancestors and Descendants, Spanish Fork, Utah: JMart Publishing Company, 1973.

2 Cheshire, Record Society of Lancashire and. Record Society for the Publication of Original Documents Relating to Lancashire and Cheshire, 1903.

3 Ibid.

FOURTH OF JULY REFLECTIONS 2017

He is gone the veteran is no more

Come drop a grateful tear

The love of God to call his (home?)

While he resided here

In that blessed faith through life he (persevered?)

And died without a fear.

On the Fourth of July 2017, I reflect on my 3rd great-grandfather, Lt. John Cotton, who was the son of Colonel Theophilus Cotton. Lt. John Cotton was a veteran of the American Revolution and the first of his line to move west.

After the Northwest Territory was ceded to the United States at the Treaty of Fort McIntosh in 1785, the Ohio Company purchased one million acres of land along the Ohio River and a number of families from New England migrated to Ohio in 1787.  One of the first families to settle Ohio was Nathaniel Little, his wife Keziah Atwood/Adams, his daughter Lucy and Lucy’s husband Lieutenant John Cotton, who served with Nathaniel Little in the War of Revolution.

The marriage of John Cotton and Lucy Little linked two of the oldest and most distinguished families of Old Plymouth Colony.  Lucy Little is descended from Richard Warren, Mayflower passenger and signer of the Mayflower Compact.  And, Lieutenant John Cotton is descended from Rev. John Cotton, who fled England in 1633 to escape trial by Charles I for being puritan.

John Cotton’s father, Colonel Theophilus Cotton, was head of the Plymouth Militia and the Plymouth Sons of Liberty. Together with his father, John helped the cause of the American Revolution well over a year before the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. In April 1775, he was appointed Quarter Master under his father, Col. Theophilus Cotton and served for about 8 months, assisting George Washington to organize the Continental Army. In January 1776, he was reassigned to Ensign Elija Crother’s Company under Col. John Barbey. Then in December 1776, he was reassigned to Col. Baily’s Regiment and, in January 1777, was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to Col. Rufus Putnam’s Regiment. Finally, in 1778, his commission transferred to Gen. John Nixen, under whom he served as Quartermaster.

Lt. John Cotton retired his commission in 1780 and recorded his intentions to marry Lucy Little, the daughter of Captain Nathaniel Little, whom he served with under Colonel Rufus Putnam. The two were married in Plymouth, MA on August 28, 1780, and moved west to Ohio with Lucy’s parents and siblings in 1787. They settled first in Belpre, Ohio and later moved to Youngstown, Ohio, he died on February 1st, 1831 at the ripe old age of 85. He and his wife, Lucy are buried next to each other in “The Cotton Cemetery” in Youngstown, Ohio.

 

LANCASHIRE CONNECTIONS

 

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Members of Family 11 of the Cotton DNA Project include the surnames COTTON, COTTAM AND COTHAM. The Cotton surname has been proven back to Roland Cotton born London, England 1558. The Cottam surname shows a lineage back to St. Michael on Wyre, Lancashire, England to a Thomas Cottam circa 1740 and a William Cottam born 1779.

The Cotton DNA Project attempts to bridge genealogical proofs with DNA Test results. Fortunately for Family 11, the Cotton surname genealogical proof has been confirmed by a large number of prestigious lineage and hereditary societies. In addition, the Family DNA Big Y test is the most extensive DNA test available. Shown above in yellow highlight, the Cotton line’s placement has been further defined several more subclades or subgroupings under Haplogroup R-ZZ7. To my surprise, a link between the Cottam and the Cotton surnames has been revealed in results of my recent Big Y Test and is displayed on the Big Tree .

The subclade DYS435=12 groups the Cotton line solidly with the Irish Sea or Leinister Modality as the group is dominated by Z16430 and the Clan O’Byrne. The Byrne family is named after the King of Leinster “Braen mac Máelmórda”, who was deposed in 1018. However,  along with the Clan Byrne subclade Z16430 is the subclade BY2573 containing a Byrne ,two Singletons and a Cotton (me). Further research seems to indicate that the Singletons took their name from the Lancashire township of Singleton. Later, in the early 12th Century,  a Singleton purchased land in the nearby township of Cottam and took the surname “de Cottam”. As a result, it seems that a potential nexus of historical and DNA data exists showing that Cottam and Cotton surnames derive from the Singleton family of Lancashire early in the 14th century.

“The Lancashire Chartulary, Series XX. Charter No. II (A.D. 1153-1160 Stephen to Henry II) shows the confirmation of William Warren, Count of Mortain, to Ughtred, son of Huck de Singleton, of the village of Broughton in Amounderness. “ A note by the Chetham Society, XXX. Page 5, in their Latin comments about the Charter state, “Broctun, now Broughton, in the parish of Preston, was assessed to Danegeld in 1066 as on teamland, and was a member of Earl Tostig’s great manor of Preston in Amounderness. Hucca or Uck is the Anglo-Saxon Hoc, a tribal name retained in the place name “Hucking”. The individual so named in the charter seems to have been the successor of the preconquest thane or drengh of Broughton, and Singleton. He was the ancestor of the Singleton family, which with its various offshoots at one time held estates in Amounderness. Ughtred, son of Huck, is frequently mentioned in charters and other records of the time of Henry II. At Michaelmas, 23 Henry II, 1177, he rendered account at the Treasury of 5 marks to have the King’s confirmation or warranty of land which he held by the gift of Geoffrey de Valoiness…” Based on this charter and the notes of the Chetham Society, the following lineage has been established.⁠1

Huck (Ecke) de Singleton (lived about 1125)

Ughtred (Uctred) de Singleton (lived about 1153)

Robert de Singleton (lived about 1180)

Richard de Cottam (lived about 1204)

Richard, son of Robert, owned land in the village of Cottam and thus changed his surname to conform to the common practice “of being from a place” i.e. Robert de Singleton and Richard de Cottam.  (Pipe Roll, No. 71, m.I.) From the Cockersand Chartulary it appears that Richard de Cottam was son of Robert, son of Ughtred, who was brother of Richard de Singleton (1180-1212)⁠1  Geoffrey de Glazebrook and Edith his wife in 1227 released to Richard de Cottam an oxgang of land in Bilsborrow; Final Conc. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), i, 47. He is believed to be the Richard son of Robert who granted land to Cockersand Abbey (Chartul. [Chet. Soc] i, 269), Robert being son of Uctred and brother of Richard de Singleton, also benefactors of the abbey; ibid. 264, 268. John de Cottam was plaintiff in 1304 and William de Cottam defendant in the following year; De Banco R. 152, m. 22 d.; 155, m. 144. William de Cottam was again defendant in 1311; ibid. 184, m. 23 d. He contributed to the subsidy of 1332; Exch. Lay Subs. (Rec. Soc. Lancs, and Ches.), 60. Sir Adam de Hoghton (as guardian of Thomas the heir of Sir Adam Banastre) gave Adam de Singleton the wardship of John son and heir of John de Cottam of Bilsborrow, the tenure being of Banastre by knight’s service; Dods. MSS. cxlix, fol. 118. The Cottams then fall into obscurity, but from a pleading of 1570 it appears that in the time of Henry IV Richard son of William Cottam married Margaret daughter of John de Fleetwood and then had land in Bilsborrow settled on him. The descent continues: s. Oliver -s. Richard -s. John -s. Richard -sons Richard (who had a son John), Nicholas and Henry. Henry’s daughter Elizabeth married Christopher Parkinson, and these were plaintiffs in 1570, Joan Topping, widow, being defendant; Pal. of Lanc. Plea R. 228, m. 10 d. The duchy rent was claimed by the king’s bailiff in 1522; Ducatus Lanc. (Rec. Com.), i, 212.⁠4

† Geoffrey de Cottam

† John de Cottam

Richard de Cottam

Writ dated at Westminster, June 10th, 21st year of Edward I (1293), directed to the sheriff of Lancaster and his coroners, reciting the same terms as the previous writ (No. LXXI) the petition of the venerable father R. Bishop of Coventre and Lichfield respecting the lands and chattels of Richard de Cotton, clerk, which had been taken into the King’s hands owing to a charge against the said Richard, of the death of William le Paumere, and directing the sheriff to make inquiry as to the said Richard’s conversation and reputation….. By the oath of 12 free and liege men of the neighborhood of Amundernesse, who say that Richard de Cotton is of good and honest conversation and of good report nor was he ever a public or notorious malefactor except for the death of William le Paumere of which he was accused (arectatus) before the Justices in the last year at Lancaster, of which he afterwards solely vindicated (expurgavit) his innocence.⁠5

† John de Cottam (lived about 1344)

SOURCES

1 Cheshire, Record Society of Lancashire and. Record Society for the Publication of Original Documents Relating to Lancashire and Cheshire, 1903.

2 Farrer, William, and J Brownbill. The Victoria History of the County of Lancaster, 1908

Singleton, Sam, Singleton Family Association. A History of John Singleton of American Fork, Utah, His Ancestors and Descendants, Spanish Fork, Utah: JMart Publishing Company, 1973.

Cheshire, Record Society of Lancashire and. Record Society for the Publication of Original Documents Relating to Lancashire and Cheshire, 1903.

Ibid.

DISCOVERING OUR ROOTS

In a 2014 article in Time Magazine opinion article Gregory Rodriquez says that genealogy is nearly as popular as pornography as Americans obsessed with their ancestry has spawned a billion-dollar cottage industry. ABC News Good Morning America reports that genealogy is now a $1.6 billion hobby. The obsession with ancestry helps explain the popularity of the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” which is hosted by noted Harvard scholar, Henry Louis Gates Jr.

So what explains our obsession with our roots?

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 11.47.43 AMI am not a genealogy “geek” although I have met plenty of them. In America there are hundreds of ancestral lineage societies that people with proven genealogies aspire to. Perhaps the best know is the Daughters of the American Revolution or the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Many people I have encountered in my search for the past were obsessed with linking their line to British or European royalty. Online one can find many family trees that link back to ancient Rome.

To my mind, our obsession with our family roots is rooted in our rootlessness. We are out of touch, disconnected and fragmented by modern life. We no longer live in tight-knit family units or tribes. We no longer tell stories of our ancestors around the camp fire.

Honestly, how many of us know what tribe we descend from?

National Geographic’s Genographic Project using simple DNA swabs from people around the world has tested 150,000 DNA markers to trace the emergence and migration of mankind.

 

DO YOU KNOW YOUR TRIBE?

ukmap_large-1Genealogical research can only go so far as it is based on written documentation. The farther back in time one goes written records become more and more scarce. Ultimately, written records are nonexistent.

DNA research now provides a means to trace one’s ancestry back in time by determining the most recent genetic mutation in your genome. Males test their yDNA to determine the heritage of their father’s line. Tests for 12, 37, 67 or 111 genetic markers are available. The more markers tested, the more specific the results. Once results are received, however, further research is needed.

For example, I tested R1b1a2a1a1b4f or L159.2+The R1b haplogroup arrived in Europe about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago and was the first culture in Europe to leave cave art. Today over 50% of Europeans are R1b with the highest number in the British Isles.

My test consisted of 67 markers and determined that my male line fits the L159.2+ mutation known as the Leinster Modal. This mutation is found in the ancient Irish kings of Leinster and most particular in Diarmait Mac Murchada, who was King of Leinster in the early 12th century.

220px-England_Celtic_tribes_-_South

The theory is that the R1b1a2a1a subclade is common to a number of British Celtic tribes migrated to southern Ireland and southwest England between 4th and 8th century.  Among these are the Dumnonii that settled Cornwall and in the southern Ireland.

Recently, I expanded DNA testing to 111 markers and have moved deeper down the L159.2+ haplogroup and now am classified R-ZZ7_1.

This places my DNA in what is termed the Irish Sea Modality as I share many traits of the Irish Clan Byrne. To dig even deeper, however, I am taking the ‘Big Y Test’.

The Big Y product is a Y-chromosome direct paternal lineage test. That has been designed to explore deep ancestral links on our common paternal tree. Big Y tests thousands of known branch markers as well as millions of places where there may be new branch markers. The test is intended for those with an interest in advancing science and may also be of great interest to genealogy researchers of a specific lineage. To learn more about the methodology and science behind the Big Y test Family Tree DNA has produced a Big Y white paper published August 28, 2014 and sells the Big Y product as a Y-chromosome direct paternal lineage test.

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 7.08.01 PM.pngRDNA testing is not only helpful in placing one’s family geographically in the history of human migration, it can determine a common ancestor in a range of 3 to 10 generations. For example, several Cottons who have no proven genealogical link to the Rev. John Cotton, who helped found Boston MA in the early 1630s have been linked to his line through DNA test results. (Family 11 on this link)