Found in many spelling forms including Cot (French & English), Cota, Cotta (French, Spanish, & German), Cotte, Lacotte, Cottu (French, Catalan, & Spanish), etc, this ancient surname has two possible origins. It may be a derivative of the Latin (Roman) 'Cote', meaning 'stone' and as such originally described one who lived in a substantial house, one built of stone at a time when most were built of mud and wattle. Secondly it can derive from the Old French 'cotte', a metonymic for a maker of a chain mail coats of armour. It has been suggested that the name could describe one who wore such expensive protection, but this is unlikely as only the very richest people could afford such 'garments', and they already had surnames! Diminutive forms of the surname include the French Coutet, Couton, the English Cuttill, Cuttell, and Cottle,. Examples of the surname recordings include Eilwunus Kutel in 1185 in the roll of the Knight Templars (The crusaders), and Walter de la Cote in the Curia Regis Rolls of Oxford in England, in 1210. Later examples include Pirimeta Cota, who married Joan Mariscaleo at Nice, (now France, then Italy), on January 18th 1587, Gregorio de Cota of Senora La Antigua, Valladolid, Spain, on July 4th 1588, whilst Jean Cot married Anne Poirson on August 18th 1670 at Migneville, Meuthe der Moselle, France. An early recording in California is that of Pablo Antonio Cota, who married Rose Maria Lugo at San Luis Obispo on November 30th 1776. The coat of arms has the blazon of a red field, charged with an imperial eagle displayed in black, under the letters S P Q R. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Cotella, which was dated 1167, the rolls of the county of Dorset, England, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.