The surname of KATER was a name given to a man who paid for his cottage by labour service. It was a technical term of status in the feudal system for a serf or bond tenant who held a cottage by service, rather than rent. The name was originally in the Old Norman form of OTTARR, composed of the elements 'otto' (fear and dread) and 'herr' meaning 'army'. The name is derived from the Gaelic Mac Coitur, formerly spelt Mac Oitir. The name is also spelt COTTIER, COTMAN, KOTTER, KOTHER, COTTERELL, COTTRELL and COTHERILL, to name but a few. This is also an old Gaelic-Irish family, although the name is formed from a Norse personal name. Ballymacotter locates their homeland. An Irish family by the name of Cotter has been established in Ireland in County Cork, for many generations. The maritime county of Cork, in Munster, is bounded by the sea on the south-west, the south and the south-east. To the east it has land boundaries with the counties of Waterford and Tipperary, and to the north with Limerick and to the west with Kerry. Anciently the country formed part of the kingdom of Desmond. After the Anglo-Norman Invasion the whole of the present county, save the City of Cork (which had been founded by the Vikings) and its surroundings, was granted in 1177 by Henry 11 to Anglo-Norman knights who brought over their followers and established a military colony. They are said to be of Danish origin, although the surname clearly is not. William Cottyr, who was born about the year 1498 was recorded at Innesmore in County Cork in the early sixteenth century. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in Ireland.
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