What is the origin of the last name Potts?

The last name Potts originated from a medieval English occupational name for a potter, derived from the Middle English word "potte." This surname was commonly used to denote someone who made pottery or was involved in the pottery trade. Over time, it entered the realm of inherited family names and has been passed down through generations, with variations such as Pott, Potte, and Potius appearing in different records and regions. The significance of the Potts surname lies within its historical connection to the skilled craft of pottery, reflecting the cultural and economic importance of pottery-making in medieval England.

Countries of origin for the last name Potts

It is believed that the last name Potts, a surname of English origin, originated as an occupational name for a potter. The word “pott” in Middle English referred to a pot or a cooking vessel. The surname Potts is derived from this word, indicating that it was used to identify individuals who worked with, made, or sold pottery or ceramic ware.

The Potts surname has a long history in England, with early records dating back to the 13th century. It has been found in various regions across England, including Yorkshire, Staffordshire, and Lancashire. Throughout the centuries, Potts families spread to other parts of the British Isles, including Scotland and Ireland.

One notable individual of the Potts surname was the English playwright and poet James Potts (1597–1666). He gained recognition for his theatrical works during the Jacobean and Caroline eras. His works reflected the themes and styles of the time, showcasing his talent and contribution to English literature.

The Potts surname also made its way to the United States, with the earliest arrivals being recorded in the 17th century. The reasons for migration varied, including economic opportunities, religious freedom, and the quest for a new life. Potts families settled in different regions, notably in Pennsylvania and Virginia, where they established themselves and contributed to the development of these colonies.

Throughout American history, individuals with the last name Potts have made significant contributions in various fields. Notably, the Potts family played a crucial role in Pennsylvania’s iron industry, with Samuel Potts being a prominent ironmaster. Moreover, the Potts family has a strong legacy in military service, with numerous Potts individuals serving in the armed forces and participating in the American Revolutionary War and subsequent conflicts.

The etymology of the last name Potts reflects its association with pottery and ceramics. It is deeply rooted in English history and culture, with early records dating back several centuries. The migration of Potts families to the United States further expanded the reach and influence of the surname. Today, individuals with the last name Potts can be found across the United States, continuing to carry on their family’s heritage and contribute to society.

While the facts presented here provide a comprehensive overview of the last name Potts, there is always the potential for further research and discovery. New information may unveil additional insights into the origin and significance of the surname. The study of genealogy and name etymology continues to be an open-ended exploration of historical narratives and personal connections.

Interesting facts about the last name Potts

  • The surname Potts is of English origin.
  • It is derived from the Middle English word “pot,” which means a pot-maker or a seller of pots.
  • In medieval times, the name Potts was often associated with individuals who manufactured or sold pottery.
  • The surname Potts is believed to have originated in the Yorkshire region of England.
  • The Potts family has a long history and can be traced back to the 13th century.
  • One notable individual with the surname Potts is Peter Potts, an English politician who served as Lord Mayor of London in the mid-17th century.
  • The Potts surname has been relatively uncommon throughout history, making it a unique and distinct surname.
  • The name Potts has variations in spelling, including Pott, Pottz, and Potz.
  • Potts is also a fairly common surname in the United States, particularly in states like Pennsylvania and Texas.
  • Famous fictional characters with the surname Potts include Mr. Potts from the musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and Hermione Jean Granger-Potter, the wife of Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling’s series.

Name Rank


There are around 38277 people with the last name Potts in the US

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