OATEY/OTHEY/OTTEY/OTIEIn the mid 1600s we understand
this family travelled from France and settled in Cornwall, England.
Especial thanks must go to NIGEL OATEY
He has kept us on the right track.
Between us all, many hours have been spent
locating, checking and linking our family.
very much on the whim of the person
actually writing down the name.
We have found a number of variations
(Othy, Ottey, Ottie, Oaty and so on),
not helped of course by the fact that few people could read or write. Eventually
our Cornish families accepted OATEY
as the main way of spelling of our name.
It is understood, from family legend,
that the first Oatey was a Huguenot
who escaped from France. Another variation
of the legend was that three brothers
fled to Cornwall from France. This came
to light when the family tree was first researched. There is documentary evidence that shows that in 1681 five boats left
La Rochelle, in France and that
two arrived in Devon.
Where the other three landed is not known.
Perhaps one of them landed in Cornwall.
The earliest written references
we have found relating to the name Oatey/Othey/Ottie in Cornwall are
Grace OTHY baptised on August 17,1684
at St Erth with Peter Othy as her father
(more information below).
ALENOR OATIE, a widow who was
buried at Saint Erth on June 2,1685.
She is possibly the mother of
PETER OTHEY who married Emblom James,
on July 8, 1685, as recorded
in the Parish Records of St Earth
(parish name changed to St Erth post 1789).
(we think c.1664).
The early Oateys on the family tree are only known if they were baptised and when they married. The earliest records of baptisms for Peter Othy (1664)'s children do not record
the mother's name. We know nothing more about them as individuals.
To learn more about
THE OATEY STORY - CLICK HERE
To see the THE OATEY FAMILY CHART - CLICK HERE
There is a Peter born to a Peter, with one exception, from the original
Peter Othy down to Peter Arthur Oatey (b. 1925) in the Hayle branch
of the family spanning nine generations. We also have a Charles born
to a Charles living at St Erth and Gwinear from 1687 until 1803. The trend
in the past has been to name children after their parents, grandparents,
aunts, uncles or even a previously deceased sibling particularly
if the parents wanted to keep that name within the family.
It was only from the mid 18th. century that 'Oatey' became the usual way
to spell the name. Until then there seemed to be as many ways of spelling Oatey as there were vicars to record the parish details. Oty, Othy, Othey, Otey, Oaty and Oatie were probably all 'best guesses' of vicars who were dealing with illiterate parishioners who would not have known how their surname should have been written in the first place.
Despite the rarity of our surname, confusion has arisen when two or more individuals have been given the same name and have been baptised in the same parish at around the same time. In the records, twenty to thirty years later some logical guesswork was applied to make sure that the right 'William', for example, is attached to the correct family.