My Arkansas, Then And Now

My Arkansas, Then And Now

Friday, November 21, 2008

Origin of the name 'Cotner'

According to Neal N. Cotner in his book, “A Window to the Past, A History of Peter Gortner-Cotner 1704 – 1753 His Descendents and Associated Families”, the name ‘Cotner’ is of German/Swiss origin possibly with its earliest written European reference in the Germanic/Swiss spelling ‘Gertner’ from Nurnberg in 1566 and roots in the earliest (as far as can be determined as of this writing) documented North American ancestry names, ‘Gertner’ and ‘Gortner’. These North American references are based on information from passenger ship lists for German/Swiss immigrants to the Port of Philadelphia.

Jerick Gertner arrived in Philidelphia on the ship, ‘Albany’, on September 4th, 1728 and Peter Gortner, age 30 years old, arrived in Philadelphia on September 23, 1734 aboard the ship, ‘Hope Galley’.

Poor education and ineffective communications skills always hurt. Some things never change.

Due to miscommunication/misunderstanding based on ignorance, carelessness and language differences between Immigration/Port authorities of the time and those arriving from Germany and Switzerland, often the names were recorded very differently on paper from the spoken word even though the original family name seems to have been the same. Thus, we have ‘Gortner’ or ‘Gertner’ transcribed as many variations on the original—Gortner, Cotner, Cortner, Curtner, Costner, Catner, Kotner, Katner, Kertner, Kettner, Kortner, Kurtner, Gortner, Gotner, Gurtner, Gertner, Cartner, Cortner, Cothner, Cottoner, Cottner, Cottonor, Cottenor, Cotenor and Cotoner.

Other World Events of 1728:
John Stark, American Revolutionary War general was born.
James Cook, British naval captain and explorer was born.
Voltaire ends his exile in England.
Cotton Mather, New England Puritan minister dies.

Other World Events of 1734:
Daniel Boone, American frontiersman was born.
Thomas Conway, American Revolutionary War general was born.
Thomas McKean, American lawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence was born.

Hope to add more information as it comes available, time permitting.

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