The surname of POTTS was derived from the Old English word Potte - the dweller by a hollow or pit. The name was also baptismal 'the son of Philip' from the Old English name Philpot. The earliest hereditary surnames in England are found shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and are of Norman French origin rather than native English. On the arrival of the Normans they identified themselves by references to the estates from which they came from in northern France. These names moved rapidly on with their bearers into Scotland and Ireland. Others of the Norman Invaders took names from the estates in England which they had newly acquired. Early records of the name mention Margaret atte Potte who was recorded in West Grinstead County Sussex in 1296 and Colin Pot, was documented in the County of Lincolnshire, in the year 1273. Godwin Richard Pot, recorded in 1315 County Hampshire. Petronilla Potes, of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Walter Potts was mentioned in County York in the year 1400. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification.
A notable member of the name was Percival Pott (1714-1788) the English surgeon born in London. He became assistant and then senior surgeon at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where he introduced many improvements to make surgery for humane.
Charles Potts was a notary public in Kelso, Scotland in the year 17127. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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