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Cotter Family History

Cotter Name Meaning

Irish (co. Cork): reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Oitir ‘son of Oitir’, a personal name borrowed from Old Norse Óttarr, composed of the elements ótti ‘fear’, ‘dread’ + herr ‘army’. English: status name from Middle English cotter, a technical term in the feudal system for a serf or bond tenant who held a cottage by service rather than rent, from Old English cot ‘cottage’, ‘hut’ (see Coates) + -er agent suffix. Probably an Americanized spelling of German Kotter.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


Similar surnames: Otter, Cutter, Cotner, Potter, Cater, Coster, Rotter, Cotten, Comer

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Cotter family from?

You can see how Cotter families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Cotter family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Cotter families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 14 Cotter families living in New York. This was about 21% of all the recorded Cotter's in the USA. New York had the highest population of Cotter families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Cotter surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Cotter ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Teacher were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Cotter. 13% of Cotter men worked as a Laborer and 9% of Cotter women worked as a Teacher. Some less common occupations for Americans named Cotter were Clerk and Waitress.

View Census data for Cotter | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1940

  • Laborer
    13%
  • Farmer
    10%
  • Salesman
    8%
  • Clerk
    6%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Teacher
    9%
  • Clerk
    8%
  • Stenographer
    7%
  • Waitress
    6%
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What Cotter family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 109,000 census records available for the last name Cotter. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Cotter census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Cotter

Passenger Lists

There are 21,000 immigration records available for the last name Cotter. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Cotter immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 19,000 military records available for the last name Cotter. For the veterans among your Cotter ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Cotter military records

You've only scratched the surface of Cotter family history.

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What is the average Cotter lifespan?

Between 1945 and 2004, in the United States, Cotter life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1954, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Cotter in 1945 was 39, and 79 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Cotter

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