m. Barbara Agnes Gordin,
daughter of Russell Lamar and Zora (Mercer) Gordin
Russell Warren Cottrell
b. 1961 Cincinnati, OH
m. Maria Carrillo,
daughter of Margarito and Rufina (Breceda) Carrillo
Our oldest documentation of the Cottrell ancestry: Henry Perrrin, History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky, 1882, p. 624
(original document and title page)
JOHN L. COTRELL, farmer; P.O. Minorsville. Thomas, the father of this gentleman, was born in Virginia, where he
received his education; in 1801 he emigrated to Greene County, Ohio, and soon afterwards removed to Miami County, where he remained
engaged in the milling business to the time of his death, which occurred in 1840, being sixty years of age.
His wife, the mother of our subject, was born in Culpepper County, Va., and removed to Greene County, Ohio, about 1800, where she
was married; she died in Miami County in 1835, aged 35 years.
They were the parents of five children, our subject being the second child. He was born in Greene County, Ohio,
April 3, 1815, where he remained, receiving such an education as the common schools of that county afforded.
In 1835 he removed to Marion County, Ind., and in 1840 removed to Scott County, Ky., his present residence.
He has during his life been a hard-working and industrious farmer, and by his honesty, industry
and economy has succeeded in accumulating a good property; he is the owner of 350 acres of land.
He is now one of Scott County's magistrates, having held the office for eight years, to the entire satisfaction of all.
In 1839, in Scott County, he married Mrs. Sarah E. Nelson, a native of Fayette County, and the daughter of John and Lucy
(Sinclair) Reding; she was born in 1822. They have been blessed with fifteen children, thirteen of whom are now living,
viz.: Zerilda, James, Maria, Thomas, Benjamin F., Alvin, Alice, John S., Joseph, Stephen D., Willis, Millie A.,
and Sally. Mr. Cotrell and family are members of the Christian Church.
"Benjamin F." is Benjamin Franklin Cottrell, my great-great grandfather, known to some members of my grandfather's generation.
The Search for Thomas Cottrell
We have so far been unable to positively identify the Thomas Cottrell who was born in Virginia. The place and exact year of his birth are not recorded in the Perrin text. Here is a summary of the existing evidence.
I. According to information compiled by Frieda Curtis-Wheatley of Louisville, KY (great-granddaughter of
Benjamin Franklin Cottrell, and to whom I owe much of the family line information above):
The Cottrells are said to have first come into the state of Virginia from what is now York County, Pennsylvania. Thomas Cottrell's mother
was ________ Barber, born in England and came to America as a young girl. Thomas Cottrell's father and maternal grandfather Barber,
operated an under-shot gristmill on the upper Rappahannock river in Culpeper Co., Va. The mill was said to be located just below the
natural falls and just above a sharp eastern bend, called Barber's Point. (per: B. F. Cottrell of Va. [1915-1993, grandson of Benjamin Franklin Cottrell above]).
Thomas Cottrell was born March 18, 1780 in Culpeper County, Virginia, where he received his education. In the year 1801, at the age of twenty-one, Thomas left Culpeper Co., Va. and emigrated to Green County, Ohio, soon moving to Miami County where he engaged in the milling business. Mrs. Cottrell (his future wife, name unknown) had moved from Virginia to Green County, Ohio with her parents in 1800, at the age of eighteen. Thomas Cottrell is said to have married September 22, 1801 at Xenia, Ohio.
Frieda says that B.F. Cottrell of Va. once found a book that mentioned the Cottrells and Barbers in Va. We have not seen it nor do we even know the title.
II. The earliest references we have to a Thomas Cottrell who could be "our" Thomas are in the Greene County,
Ohio records. Unfortunately there seem to have been at least two Thomas Cottrells living in Greene County in the first
three decades of the 1800's. I owe the following to Bob Cottrell.
In the History of Greene County, Ohio, by George F. Robinson, 1902, are these two entries:
Cottrell, Thomas, Sugar Creek, 1820; soldier of 1812; June 9, 1828, married Susanna Ogan.
. . .
Cottrell, Thomas, Bath, 1806; soldier in war of 1812, Captain Shingledecker.
And in "Ohio Marriages Recorded in County Courts Through 1820" by the Ohio Genealogical Society:
Cotrell, Thomas Gate, Sarah Sep 26, 1811 GREE 00A 025
b. 1780, in Va.
d. 1840, age 60
pl. Minorsville, Ky.
Word of mouth has it that Thomas was buried on the original Cottrell farm in
Minorsville. Note that this contradicts Perrin, above. Unfortunately,
no original documentation placing Thomas in Kentucky has been found. The Scott County courthouse is said to have burned in the late 1800's and relevant records may have been lost.
IV. The Cottrell DNA Project
Thanks to Darel Coterel who started this whole thing, we have learned that there are at least four different Cottrell families in the USA and another in the UK. Yours truly was a 25/25 gene marker match with Bob Cottrell of Dubuque, IA, who is a descendant of one John Cottrell who was born in 1771 and moved from Virgina to Greene County, OH in about 1801, the same time period as Thomas Cottrell above. John and Thomas Cottrell were likely to have been close relatives, perhaps even brothers, but unfortunately we know nothing of the ancestors of either one; nor do we know where either was born, or exactly when either moved to Ohio.
The search continues for information about either of these two ancestors, and future DNA subjects may provide even more information.
V. The only reference to a Thomas Cottrell in the Virginia Colonial Records who would have been the right age is the following, p. 424:
Thomas Cottrell son to John & Sirah his wife was born Mar 5 1779
(taken from Northumberland County, Record of Births, 1661-1810, p. 31, headed "C").
According to Jim Burgess,
this John seems to be a descendant of Andrew Cockrell:
Andrew COCKRELL was born in the 1630-1632 time period in England. Andrew married
Angel CORBELL before 20 May 1653 in Northumberland County, Virginia. Angel was
the daughter of Clement & Angel CORBELL. Andrew COCKRELL died in 1673 in
Northumberland at the age of about 43 years. His wife remarried after his death
to Richard LAMPREY. Angel wrote her will 6 Apr 1726 which was proved 19 Jul
1727. In her will she mentions her sons John COTTRELL and Andrew COTTRELL.
Jim Burgess' old site (no longer up) contained a vast amount of information about this line.
However, I have discounted it for now as there is no record of a John born in 1771.
We would very much like to hear from anyone who knows more about Thomas or John Cottrell and their ancestry; please visit
the contact page.
More Cottrell Links:
Audrey's Page CottrellGenealogy.com,
Vivian Markley's page about the Greene County,
Ohio Cottrells (Thomas and John, ancestors of yours truly and Bob Cottrell)--proposes a family tree based on comparison of census records.
The name Cottrell reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Cottrell is for a serf or bond tenant who held a cottage by service. The name is derived from the Old English cote, which means “shelter” or “cottage.”
The surname Cottrell was first found in Derbyshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.
This interesting name is a diminutive of Cotter, itself a medieval status surname introduced by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. It derives from the Middle English “cotter,” which was a technical term of status in the feudal system for a serf or bond tenant who held his cottage by labour service rather than by paying rent. In the Domesday Book of 1086, the term is used (to denote status) as “coterellus,” the Old French being “coterel,” a diminutive of “cotier,” cottages.
The shield: Argent, a chevron between three escallops Sable.
(Another family uses a bend rather than a chevron.)
The crest: A talbot’s head couped Argent, eared and collared Or.
The motto: Nec Temere Nec Timide (neither rashly nor timidly).