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Surname Potier - Meaning and Origin

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Unraveling My Potier Ancestral Roots: iGENEA DNA Test Sheds Light on My Hidden History

The DNA test at iGENEA took me on an unexpected journey deep into the roots of my French ancestry, revealing surprising connections, stitching together untold stories of hardworking artisans and indigenous communities, and making me reassess my identity profoundly.

R. Potier

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Potier: What does the surname Potier mean?

The last name Potier is of French origin and directly translates to "potter" in English. This surname was originally an occupational name given to individuals who made pots and ceramics, deriving from the Old French term "potier". Surnames based around occupations were common in European history as they easily identified a person's profession. Over time, these names were passed down to become family names. Like many surnames with occupational origins, the distribution of the name Potier spread as people moved around, both within France and to other countries where French is spoken. Variations of the name exist, including Lepotier, Depotier, Potiers, Pottier, and Pothier. Notable people with the surname Potier include French actor Jean-Pierre Potier and French politician Géraldine Pottier. Despite its origins, a wide range of professions can be found today within people bearing the Potier name.

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Potier: Where does the name Potier come from?

The Potier surname is most commonly found in France today, with the highest populations identified in the regions of Aquitaine, Limousin, Midi-Pyrénées, Brittany, and Île-de-France. All of these regions are located in mainland France and its principal islands.

The origin of the Potier name is believed to be either of Germanic origin, with the spelling 'Pottier', or Latin origin, with the spelling 'Potarius'. In either case, the name is derived from a Latin word meaning 'potter', suggesting the surnames bearers were 'potters' or 'are involved in making pottery'.

In modern times, Potier is a relatively uncommon name in France, with its frequency estimated to be between 0.4 and 0.5 percent of the national population. The name's popularity is likely declining, having a negative growth rate in recent years according to data taken from French telephone usage.

Outside of France, the Potier name is not as popular. With the exception of a few regions in the United States and Canada, the surname is not particularly common elsewhere. For instance, in the UK, there are only 688 people with the Potier surname according to the Great Britain Family Name Database. Similarly, fewer than 500 people in the United States have the last name Potier.

Variations of the surname Potier

The surname Potier is of French origin, and derived from an occupation. It is a name for someone who made or sold pottery. Variants of this name include Potier, Pottier, and Poteau.

Poteau, which literally means "post" in French, was used to denote someone who worked with wood or metal posts. It too derives from a profession, and can be spelt as Poteau, Poteaux, Potau and Potaux.

The variations of Potier include Potierre, Pothier, Potieri and Potiau. These spellings are a result of differences in regional languages and dialects. Potier and Pothier are the most commonly used variants of the original surname.

Variant spellings such as Potier and Poteau can also be found for names such as Potiera, Potiero, Potyera, Potyero and Poty.

There are also surnames of the same origin but different spelling that can be found in other countries, like Spain and Italy - names such as Potiero, Poteiro, and Potié.

In Québec the name is often spelled as Potier, Pothier or Potier while in the United States the surname is sometimes phonetically spelled as Pocier. Lastly, in North America the surname is often Americanised to Potter.

Famous people with the name Potier

  • Philippe Potier: French entrepreneur, corporate executive, engineer, and inventor known as the Father of Gas Turbines.
  • Francois Potier: French politician and former Minister of Social Affairs.
  • Jean-Francois Potier: French businessman, entrepreneur and engineer.
  • Edith Potier: French socialite, philanthropist, actress and author.
  • Jean-Michel Potier: French businessman, CEO of transportation company Ratp Group.
  • Michel Potier: French cinematographer, actor and producer.
  • Jean-Francois Potier de la Vauvre: French chef and restaurateur.
  • Tom Potier: American actor, film director, and producer who made numerous appearances in films like The Godfather Part II (1974) and The French Connection (1971).
  • Yves Potier: French civil engineer.
  • Charles-Louis Potier: French printmaker.

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