Cotter Family Project.
Clann Choitir Go Brách
As many of us grew up the questionwas raised, usually in school, about the origin of our surname. Manytimes, too many times, students our parents went to a dictionary, looked up thename as if it was a word, and found,in the case of Cotter, it defined aspeasants that lived in a cottage. When used as a word that may be true, it isalso the word for an industrial fastener. That, however, is not now or ever wasthe origin of the Cotter surname.
Cotter is a Norse-Gaelic origin family name, (Irish Mac Coitir or Mac Oitir) of Ireland, which is particularlyassociated with County Cork and ancient Cork City, and their connections. The familyis also associated with the Isle of Man and the Hebrides .Evidence suggests an ultimately Norwegian origin of the name.
For an up to date history based oncurrent thinking born of hard data, documentation, and historical research goto: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotter_family
The Cotter project is based on harddata clearly demonstrating, not only specific Danish/ Frisian/Norseorigin, but also a possible earlier than 12th centuryNorwegian/Viking origin. As of January 26, 2010, all members have Norseorigin YDNA. As opposed to the larger R1b Iberian cohort.
This is fully consistent with thehistory of Ireland and the Viking raiding and settlement. And may as wellprovide a scientific basis for such family lore as Ottars participationas an origin. Ottar was North Norwegian Viking Chieftain from Hagoland in NorthNorway, in the late 800s; he visited the court of the English King Alfred theGreat, who ordered that an account of the Norwegian's travels be written down.Ottar described his voyages to the White Sea, and although he was perhaps notthe first Norwegian to reach these unknown waters, his journey was a remarkablefeat of exploration which made both the North Cape and the White Sea known inEuropean literature for the first time. Ottar continued to trade and was knownto make annual visits to Hedeby, Denmark.