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Surname Pothier - Meaning and Origin

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Pothier: What does the surname Pothier mean?

The surname Pothier is of French origin, which traces back to the Burgundy region in France. This last name is an occupational name for a potter, derived from the Middle French term "potier". The term was used to refer to someone who made pottery for a living. Occupational surnames were widely used during the Middle Ages, as people began to acquire surnames relating to their profession. The Pothier name was first found in Burgundy, where this eminent family held a familial seat since ancient times. Various spelling variations for the name Pothier have emerged over time, including Le Potier, Potier, Pottier, Pothier, and others. It is a common last name in France and in French-speaking communities around the world.

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Pothier: Where does the name Pothier come from?

The last name Pothier is most commonly found in English-speaking countries today, especially in North America. The exact origin of the surname is unclear, although it was likely an occupational surname referring to someone who worked with pottery. Records of the name in France date as far back as the 13th century, with the majority hailing from Normandy and northern France.

In the United States, Pothier is most commonly found in Louisiana, where a significant number of French immigrants settled in the 18th and 19th century. According to the US Census in the year 2000, the most populous states for Pothier were Louisiana, Maine and Massachusetts, with populations of 498, 258 and 168 people respectively.

In Canada, the last name can be found primarily in Quebec, where it is the 37th most common surname. According to the Canada 2016 census, 18,901 people identified themselves with the last name Pothier. This is likely because of France's strong influence in the history of Quebec.

The surname Pothier can also be found in smaller numbers throughout other countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and France. As the global population continues to increase in diversity, the number of people who bear the Pothier name will likely only grow.

Variations of the surname Pothier

The surname Pothier is a variant of the French patronymic surname Potier, and is a variation of the French word potier, which means potter. It is derived from Old French pot, and is also found in such patronymic surnames as Poireier, Poirier, Poree, and Porier. It is most prevalent in the former French colonies, particularly New France, Canada, and Louisiana. Variations of Pothier include Pothire, Potire, Porthy, Pophie, Pothe, Potheir, Pote, Potheer, Pother, Pothery, Potare, Pothear, Pather, Payther, Porrer, Porer, and Powther.

The Pothier surname is believed to have originated in Brittany, a region of northwest France, though some variations and alternate spellings of the surname are found throughout other parts of France as well.

In the United States, especially in areas with French heritage and naming traditions, some other variants of Pothier can be found. Those include Potier (with or without the second “e”), Pothere, Porret, Pohrer, Pohar, Pahar, Pohot, Powar, Pawer, Poor, Powre, and Paire. Many of these variants may have derived from different languages, such as German and Dutch.

In Haiti, the Caribbean country that is a former French colony, the spelling of the surname Pothier is usually found as Hotier, with two possible variants, Hotiere or Otyer.

In Belgium, the Dutch-speaking Flemish language is spoken, so Dutch variations of the surname include Potier, Poter, Potteur, Potter, Poet, Poeten, Patteeu, Proter, Potfort, and Pottier.

Other countries in which variants of Pothier are found include Switzerland (such as Porier, Porrider, Portier, and Portar), and Italy (such as Porier, Porro, Porrodi, and Pore).

In conclusion, while the lineage of the Pothier surname and its primary origin derive from France, many variations of the surname can be found in other parts of the world, reflecting the global reach of the French diaspora.

Famous people with the name Pothier

  • Ryan Pothier: A professional ice hockey player who has played for the San Jose Barracuda, Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins, and Norfolk Admirals in the AHL.
  • Quincy Pothier: a Canadian former National Football League player in the defensive line position.
  • Shawn Pothier: a Canadian professional indoor soccer player in the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL).
  • Ed Pothier: famed American Folk Art painter and decorator.
  • Sidney Pothier: former Canadian provincial politician
  • Alain Pothier: Canadian Olympic bobsledder who competed in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics.
  • September Pothier: Canadian model and actress.
  • Destinee Pothier: Canadian professional basketball player who currently plays for the New York Liberty in the Women’s National Basketball Association.
  • Richard Pothier: former right arm pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played for the Cleveland Indians in the late 90's.
  • Yves-Joseph Pothier: Canadian army officer, lawyer and politician who was a Senator from Quebec.

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