O'Cotter family genealogy

Of Rockforest, Mallow, County Cork

Arms:[1] Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a chev. gu. betw. three serpents ppr., for COTTER; 2nd and 3rd, az. a fess betw. a fleur-de-lis in chief and a mullet in base or., for ROGERSON. Crest: A dexter arm embowed armed ppr. grasping a dart. Motto: Dum spiro spero.

THE Irish patronymic of this family is Ua-Coiteoir or O'Coiteoir ("coiteoir:" Irish, a cottager, a boat-builder). In Gibson's History of Cork, this family is stated to be of Danish origin. The name "Cotter," also spelled "Kotter," is common through Denmark and Northern Europe; and, so far as this family was concerned, was in Ireland anciently written "MacCottyr," "MacCotter," and "McCottir." Sometimes the name was in Irish written McCoithir, as well as MacCoithir. The head of the family in the Commonwealth period was William, son of Edmond Cotter, of Coppingerstown Castle, near Midleton, in the co. Cork. That William forfeited his Estates under attainder, consequent on his taking part in the Irish War of 1641. It would appear (see p. 274 of our "Irish Landed Gentry") that, for the same cause, William Catter, of Gearigh, in the barony of Imokilly, co. Cork, then also forfeited his Estates: which inclines us to believe that the two Williams were identical; as there is no other William Catter or Cotter mentioned in the List of the "Forfeiting Proprietors in Ireland, under the Cromwellian Settlement."

Edmond Cotter (son of Garrett Cottir, of Innismore; son of William Cottyr, of Innismore, co. Cork; son of William Cottyr, temp. King Edward IV.), the kinsman and contemporary of the above mentioned William Cotter, of Coppingerstown Castle, was the ancestor of this branch of the family. That Edmond Cotter held considerable property, chiefly Anngrove, which was his principal residence, and situate near Carrigtwohill; he also had property in Innismore, where he held a great part of the site of Queenstown (or "The Cove of Cork"), and land in other districts. While, however, the said Edmond was possessed of considerable wealth, it appears by his Will, that he held his Estates for the most part subject to head rents.

1. Edmond Cotter, of Innismore and Anngrove, co. Cork; son of Garrett Cottir; was twice m.: first, to Elizabeth, dau. of John Connell, Esq., of Barry's Court, and by her had three sons and three daus.:

I. Garrett, who d. unm.

II. Sir James, of whom presently.

III. John, who m. and had two sons and one daughter.

I. Ellen, who m. John Evans, Esq.,

II. Mary, who m. William Barry, Esq.

III. Catherine, who m. John Gwinn, Esq.

Edmond's second wife was Ellen Sarsfield (of Lord Kilmallock's family), and by her he had three sons and three daughters:

IV. Edmond.

V. William.

VI. Patrick.

IV. Anne.

V. Eleanor.

VI. Alice.

"He d. in 1660, as is recorded on the monument surmounting the ancient vault in Carrigtwohill Abbey."

2. Sir James Cotter (d. 1705), of Anngrove, Knt., and M.P.: son of Edmond; was twice m.: first, to Mary (d. s. p.), dau. of Sir William Stapleton, Bart.; and, secondly, on the 30th July, 1688, to the Honble. Eleanora Plunkett, eldest dau. of Matthew, the seventh Lord Louth, and by her had two sons and two daughters:

I. James, of whom presently.

II. Laurence, who d. aged 88 years, unm.

I. Mary, who m. Wm. Mahony, Esq., Barrister-at-Law.

II. Alice-Monica, who d. young.

This Sir James was Commander-in-Chief of King James's Forces, in the Counties of Cork, Limerick, and Kerry.

3. James Cotter, of Anngrove: son of Sir James; b. 4th Aug., 1689; was, for his devotion to the cause of the Stuarts, executed on the 7th May, 1720; m. in 1706 Margaret (d. 1725), eldest dau. of Major George Mathew, of Thurles, and had two sons and two daus.:

I. James, who was created a Baronet, on the 11th Aug., 1763, and of whom presently.

II. Edmond, who m. a Miss O'Brien, of the co. Clare, and had two sons and two daus.:

I. George, a Captain in the Army, who d. s. p.

II. Edmond, a Major in the Army.

I. Ellen, who m. Michael Galwey, Esq., of Rockspring, in the co. Cork.

II. Elizabeth, who m. Kean Mahony, Esq., M.D.

4. Sir James Cotter, Bart. (d. 9th June, 1770), of Rockforest: son of James; b. 1714, and in 1746, m. Arabella, dau. of Rt. Honble. John Rogerson, Lord Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench, and had four sons:

I. Sir James-Laurence, of whom presently.

II. Edmond, who d. unm.

III. Rogerson, M.A., and M.P. for Charleville, who m. and had issue.

IV. Rev. George-Sackville, M.A., who also married and had issue.

5. Sir James-Laurence Cotter, Bart., of Rockforest, M.P., who d. 9th Feb., 1829: eldest son of Sir James; b. in 1748; was twice m.: first, to Anne (d. s. p. in 1773), only dau. of Francis Kearney, Esq., of Garretstown, near Kinsale; and secondly, to Isabella, dau. of the Rev. James Hingston, of Aglish, in the co. Cork, by whom he had six sons and four daus.:

I. Sir James-Laurence, his heir, of whom presently.

II. Rev. John-Rogerson, who was thrice m., and d. without surviving issue.

III. Rev. George-Edmond (d. 6th Aug., 1880), who m. and had issue.

IV. Richard-Baillie, who d. unm. in 1843.

V. Henry-Johnson, who d. unm. in 1830.

VI. Nelson-Kearney (d. in 1842), M.D., who m. and had issue.

The four daughters were:

I. Isabella, who m. James-Digges La Touche, Esq., of Dublin, and had issue.

II. Henrietta, who m. John Wise, Esq., of Cork, and had issue.

III. Catherine.

IV. Thomasine, who m. Arundel Hill, Esq., of Graig, co. Cork, and had issue.

6. Sir James-Laurence, Bart. (d. 31st Dec., 1834), of Rockforest, M.P. for Mallow: eldest son of Sir James; m. on 1st Jan., 1820, Helena (d. 1st June, 1876), dau. of James Lombard, Esq., of Lombardstown, in the co. Cork, and had an only child:

7. Sir James-Laurence, Bart., of Rockforest, Mallow, in the co. Cork; b. 4th April, 1828, and living in 1884; m., first, on 14th June, 1851, Julia-Emily (d. 5th Feb., 1863), dau. of Frederick-Albert Loinsworth, Esq., M.D., and had two sons and one daughter:

I. Sir Ludlow, Knt., who d in 1882.

II. James-Lombard, b. 1st Sept., 1859; an Officer in the 28th Foot; of whom presently; living in 1884.

I. Jane-Louisa, who d. 26th Aug., 1883.

Sir James-Laurence Cotter m., secondly, on 30th April, 1864, Jane Vergette, dau. of W. K. Maughan, Esq., of Sedgwick House, in Middlesex, England, and by her had:

III. Guy, b. in 1865, but who d. in infancy.

8. James-Lombard Cotter: second son of Sir James-Laurence, Bart., m. in May, 1884, Clare, Mary, dau. of the late Captain Segrave, 14th Regiment.


[1] Arms: The Arms of Cotter (Ireland) are: Az. three evetts in pale ppr. Crest: A lion pass, reguard ppr.

The prefix Ua or O' of this "Cotter" family clearly shows that it is of Irish extraction; for, while some Danish and other foreign families that settled in Ireland assumed the prefix Mac, they never ventured to assume the prefix O'.