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MCCOTTER Family History

Recorded as Cotter and occasionally McCotter, this is a surname of quite separate English and Irish origins. The English form derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word "cotter", a technical term of the feudal system for a bond tenant, a villein who held a cottage tenancy by labour-service rather than by paying rent. The derivation is from the term "cotarius", found in the Domesday Book of 1086, and describing a cottage with sufficient land to feed a family of four. The second origin is from both the Isle of Man and Ireland. It is a development of the pre 10th century Gaelic "Mac Oitir", with the latter being a fused personal name from the Old Norse "otti", meaning "dread" and "herr", an army...

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