The surname of POTTON was of the locational group of surnames. There is a small village of the name in County Bedfordshire, and a place Potterne in Wiltshire, both from which the original bearer could have taken his name. It was originally rendered in the old English form of POTERNE, and literally meant the dweller at the house where pots were made. The earliest of the name on record appears to be POTERNE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. Poterna (without surname) was recorded in Bedfordshire in the year 1165. John Potin was documented in County Kent in the year 1273, and Bendedict Potin appears in the same document. Simon Potin was recorded in Kent in 1300. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in Hampshire.
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