Gotham / Goatham as a middle name

Although a One-Name study really looks at the people who shared a surname, when a the subject of the study is not also routinely used as a Christian name then investigating those who had it as a Christian name is of interest as it points to a link with those with the surname.

Goatham and Gotham have been used a number of times as a middle name. Giving a surname as a middle Christian name, occasionally as a first Christian name, became popular from the latter part of the eighteenth century into the earliest twentieth century.

The practice seems to have been particularly common in Devon so it is no suprise to find that quite a number of those with Gotham as a middle name were born there, or had parents who were.

At the time of writing I have identified 46 with Go(a)tham as a middle name, 3 from the ‘Kent Goathams’, born between about 1782 and 1998, most of the rest born in Devon or with recent Devonshire ancestors.

There was a large gap after the 1910s the practice recurs towards the end of the twentieth century – possibly prompted, at least in part, by the modern move to having children without marrying. But another reason is that many of those with Goatham as a Christian name were born in New Zealand, and only New Zealand birth records over 100 years old are available for searching.

Most who had the name as a middle name were clearly descendants of Go(a)thams, most often having a mother whose maiden name it was, but there is at least one exception: Edward Gotham THUNDER seems to have been named after Edward GOATHAM, his mother’s brother-in-law. I suspect his mother was brought up by her sister and brother-in-law after she was orphaned aged 10, possibly from a younger age as her mother died when she was 2 and her father may have needed help.

Richard Gotham MINSHULL may similarly be named in honour of an in-law.

There are also a couple of uses of the middle name where the reason for this choice so far eludes me. One of these was Daisy Eliza Gotham JOHNSON / MARTIN, not so far on the tree but my research so far is described on this page. On the tree is Frank Gotham WALDER, some of whose ancestors I have traced in an attempt to find the Gotham link, but so far without success.

In the case of the New Zealand Potters who used Gotham as a middle name, in one branch it seems to have evolved into it being part of a double barrelled surname.

Summary of all those with the middle name to be added

To see lists of those with Go(a)tham as a middle name go to pages:

Gotham as a middle name

Goatham as a middle name

(these do not divide along the Kent vs. Devon and others lines, with the above Gotham example found in Kent, and Goatham used by those with Devon Gotham ancestors)


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