Saturday, March 24, 2012

Potters & Potter Info @

Did you realize what a wealth of information awaits you at And you don't have to pay for it if you cannot. Ancestry Library Edition (almost the full-meal-deal) is available via your local Family Search Center and/or your public library. Go ask! And then start seeking those illusive Potter ancestors!

Potter Family History

Potter Name Meaning

English, Dutch, and North German (Pötter): occupational name for a maker of drinking and storage vessels, from an agent derivative of Middle English, Middle Low German pot. In the Middle Ages the term covered workers in metal as well as earthenware and clay.
Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4
2,535,001 Historical Documents & Family Trees with Potter

Name Distribution of Potter Families

Well, I could not copy the map but the most Potter families were in New York; the next most populous states for Potters were MA-RI-CT-PA-OH.  And the last category were all the states east of the Mississippi River. 
Potter families in the U.S. in 1840, according to the U.S. Federal Census:
 317 - 632
 106 - 316
 1 - 105

Monday, March 12, 2012

Potters in Indiana and North Carolina

Last December, I was doing some research on husband's lines and was into the county records of Pulaski County, Indiana and Rockingham County, North Carolina. Here are two "strays" that might help some Potter researcher:

Martha POTTER m. John SMITH, his will dated 12 Feb 1798, proved May 1798; children were Samuel John, Rachel (RUSSELL), Martha (CANTRELL), Lydda (WATERS), Mary (HUFF), Ann (BRITTON). In Rockingham County, North Carolina.

William E. POTTER, 1853-1914; wife Martha J., 1850-1924; and in the same plot: Robert PARMETER, 10 May 1911 to 12 Feb 1917, s/o Leonia POTTER PARMETER.  In the Winamac Cemetery, Winamac, Pulaski County, Indiana.

If you have any "stray Potters" this would be a good place to post that information so please do send them to me and I will post them.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nicholas Potter of Salem, Massachusetts

Nicholas Potter of Salem penned his will on 10 August 1677.  He had a large posterity and there is much information on him and his descendants within the 3000 pages of Potter Profiles

In his will, Nicholas mentions his his "sonn" Robert and daughter Elizabeth (Newall), which were children by his first wife, and then his six children by his "last wife:"  Samuel, Benjamin, Sarah, Mary (Elson), Hannah, and Bethiah (Witt).  He also mentions his "brothers," Bartholomew Gidney and Eleazer Gidney, who were (I think) brothers of his first wife, who was Mary Gedney.

Nicholas was born circa 1604 in England and settled in Lynn, MA, as early as 1638 and later removed to Salem where he died on 18 October 1677. He married (1) Emma Knight and had Elizabeth (who married Thomas Newhall) and Robert who married Ruth Driver. He married (2) Alice Weeks but she died soon and they had no children. He married (3) Mary Gedney.

In my Potter Profiles, I designated this particular branch of Potters to be Branch 7. His will was transcribed and submitted by Dawna Lund, and was published in Profiles, Volume 5, 1985.  She said it came from The Probate Records of Essex County, Vol. 3, published in 1916 by the Essex Institute.