- There are two sources for this English name, the first being a locational name from any of the numerous places in England e.g., Coates in Cambridgeshire and Cotes in Leicestershire. A locational name was usually given to the lord of the manor at that place or to someone who moved from there to another village. The second source is topographical and would have denoted someone who lived in a relatively humble dwelling, a hut or cottage. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th century "cot" or "cote" meaning cottage or shelter. The surname was common in medieval England and since it was used especially of a sheepcote, could mean a shepherd. The "s" is patronymic meaning "son of". The surname was first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below). On July 7th 1630, John Cottis married Agnes Pawmer at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, and Miles, son of John and Ann Cottis, was christened at St. Botolph without Aldgate, in July 1631. In the modern idiom, the name has ten spelling variations, e.g., Cotes, Coates, Cottis, Dallicott etc.. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Cotes, which was dated 1190, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.