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Origins of the Potter surname

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What does the name Potter mean?

Potter is an English surname, found in documents dating back to the 1200s where it is considered relatively common. It is an occupational surname, given to those who made or worked with pots and pottery. Because of the humble origins and common occupation it is based upon, the name is spread throughout Britain.

Alternative variations of the name Potter

Potter, Pottar, Poter, Powter, Patter

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Delve deeper into the Potter family's history

Where do most Potters live?

In 1921, most Potters lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Potters

How common is your surname?

184th most common surname in the UK

We have 196,000 records for the Potter surname. The oldest one dates back to 1486.

Who were Potters most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Potters.

What are the most common Potter first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Potter family members

Common jobs for Potters

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Potters in 1921




Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic


Living On Own Means


Common Male occupations for Potters in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer


Coal Miner


Farm Labourer




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