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Gotts Family History


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History of the name - 3

Earliest known occurrences of the name

Bishop  Walter of Suffield’s will in 1256 at Norwich Great Hospital mentions:”to Gotte of South Elmham three marks”. It’s possible this is a Gottes. South Elmham is just over the border into Suffolk. Here is the entry, make your own mind up:

Henry Gottes

We already know that Henry Gottes was the Rector of Clippesby from 1361 to 1390. He turns up in the Feudal Aids (effectively taxes for the king), though in different circumstances:

"Feb. 13. Commission of oyer and terminer to Robert de Thorpe, Ralph de Hemenhale, John Knyv Westminster, and William de Wychyngham, on complaint by Reynold de Eccles justice of the peace in the county of Norfolk, that Thomas de Pikeryng, William Knol, Robert Quylter, Edmund de Pykeryng, John, his brother, Henry Gottes, chaplain, John (Henry’s servant), and others, at Clypesby, Co. Norfolk, carried away his goods, threatened him with strung bows and arrows, drawn to the heads with instant death, he resisted, and assaulted his servant Richard de Martham when he would have rescued his master. By K

For 20s. paid in the hanaper.(to Richard Martham)"

(The transcript is from University of Iowa, Calendar of Patent Rolls for Edward III vol 12)

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Geoffrey Gottes in 1346 land charters in Norfolk.

Geoffrey Gottes: 1348 Norfolk 1348 FA Inquisition and assessments relating to feudal aid. (Source Reaney:London 1899-1921)

Henry Gottes 1362 in Feudal Aids

Henry Gottes, of CLYESBY (Clippesby), in his will proved in 1390, NORWICH CC WILLS, 122 & 123 HARSYK ('Norfolk Record Soc Vol xvi Pt1: Will proved at Norwich CC)

It appears that the majority of people with the name Gott/Gotts were not wealthy enough to leave records in the typical sources for ownership of land and taxes. Given that surnames were not known to be in common use outside land owners prior to the 1400’s the linkages from some of these references to modern families have not been substantiated.

Click here to see the original will