The POTTS Surname Database

Database created by: Cyrus E. Potts

Computer Nerd

Last Database Revision:  April 25, 2015

Last Bushes Revision:  April 26, 2013


Welcome to the home of one of the largest searchable databases of Potts surnamed individuals in the world, 31,444 of them, who lived in the 16th to 20th centuries in 29 different countries. Also included in the database content are the spouses of the married individuals for a grand total of over 46,000 persons. Note: In order to overcome possible errors in spelling in old documents and records, and in order to include surname variations which later became Potts, some surnames such as Batz, Bott, Paç, Paetz, Patts, Patz, Pautz, Pitts, Pot, Pott, Potte, Pottes, Potz, Pottz, Putt, Putts, etc., are also included, but no effort was made to make the inclusions exhaustive. The total number of individuals in the database with these name variations is less than 1,100. Most are Pott, found mainly in England and Pennsylvania, and which was often the precursor of the surname Potts.

To facilitate my own Potts research I decided to create a searchable database of Potts individuals who lived in the 16th - 20th centuries. Since 1992 I have gathered the major Potts-related publications, birth, death, and marriage information, land records, wills, military records, census information, and pedigrees from other researchers. I am still gathering information and adding it to the database, and new revisions of the database will be periodically posted on this and any other affiliated sites. Recently I expanded the entries to include persons who lived in the early 21st century as well. New information comes in all the time, both additions and corrections to the database material. While the bulk of the entries concern individuals who lived in North America (the American Colonies, the United States, and Canada), there is also information on Pottses who lived in countries such as the United Kingdom (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales), Germany, Prussia, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Norway, Yugoslavia, Barbados, Cuba, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and several other countries.

Searching The Potts Surname Database

If you are ready to search the Potts Surname Database for your ancestor or relative, click on the link in this sentence, or the Database Search button at the bottom of this page. You will be directed to the search data entry page. There are currently two search methods available: a site searching package called picosearch (which allows you to scroll through alphabetically sorted sections of the database), and a Boolean (logical) type search (which allows you to specify search criteria) for individuals. It will be quite helpful if you first print and then carefully read the search instructions and the search hints. The success of your search will depend on how closely you adhere to the instructions and hints. [Improper searches may result in no matches at all, or literally hundreds of matches. Therefore it is important to use good techniques when searching for common names like Ann, Mary, Elizabeth, John, James, Joseph, Thomas, Samuel, William, etc. Complicated searches may take longer but the more you are able to narrow your search criteria (specify more information) the narrower and better the results will be. Be sure that you understand how to effectively use the search wildcard symbol, %.] Caution: for a very few individuals you may find more than one record containing his/her information. When I discovered significant conflicting information that I could not resolve regarding an individual, I created two separate entries for that individual. If you come across any of these perhaps you will be the researcher who will be able to resolve the conflicting information.

Searching For Closely Related Potts (digging in the bushes)

Obviously, among all the Potts individuals in the database there will be many close relationships or groups of Potts individuals, e.g., families and family generations. Genealogists form "trees" from their family research. We can't do that within the database but we can indicate in the individual records if the person is a member of a related group. I call these groups "bushes" and have generated a list of over 120 of them representing about one-third of the individuals in the database. The list is contained in a spreadsheet and contains the "bush" name (which appears in the Ancestral_Line field of the database record), the number of individuals in the bush, the reference from which the information came, the patriarch of the bush (oldest member), general location(s) of the bush member populations, and migration patterns. I got the idea for this from Blyden Potts who is working on the development of a World Potts Family Tree which, if feasible, is also destined to be a part of this website. Both developments are aimed at making your genealogy research easier. For instance, if you know the general location where your ancestor resided, you can peruse the "bushes" list to see if there is a match. If there is then you can check the on-site reference material for relevant information, or steer your database searches toward that location.

Searching for Potts Individuals Born In The U.K. (England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland)

There are about 6,000 of these individuals in the Potts Surname Database (and they will remain there for all to see) but if your interest is only in persons born in the U. K. then the smaller scrollable files will make your search easier. I have grouped the individuals by country: England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and the groups are available sorted in alphabetical order or by birth location. Go to the Database Search page and read the third paragraph on scrolling. Information on Pott and Potts from Kent, England is available in the Potts References section of this site, including downloads.

Searching The Potts Researcher List

Over a thousand Potts researchers have contacted me for help or information on their Potts ancestors. I have saved most of their names, email addresses, and their interests, in a sepatate database. If you would like to search that list click here. If you are one of the listed researchers, please check to see that your email address is current. If the address is not current please let me know (click on Feedback below) so that I can update it.

Searching For Additional Potts Information On The Web

There are additional sources of POTTS surname information on the Internet which may aid your research efforts. The sources that I am aware of are listed on a separate POTTS Web Content page. I will try to update this list as time and opportunity permit. On the other hand, if you are aware of a site or resource which is not listed please let me know and I will add it to the present list. Please report any links that don't work.

Searching The Entire Website

FreeFind, a full featured search engine, is available to allow you to search the entire site (except the database) for references, downloads, photographs, or whatever. Just click here Search the Site and follow the instructions.


There is now a four-page DNA section on the site. Learn all about using DNA in genealogical research, how you can be tested yourself, and how you can join and use Potts surname groups to find distant kin. Then you can compare your markers to others on the Potts Surname Group Spreadsheet kept by Glenda (Potts) Thacker.


I am no longer able to give adequate attention to genealogy research, but if you are unable to find your Potts ancestor in the database, and you would like me to help search for your ancestor or relative or other Potts family connection, you can contact me at Just email me the information that you have, including all the specifics, e.g., full names, spouse's name(s), dates, places, siblings, etc., and I will try to search the database for connections if my health allows. Please provide as much information as you can, including any available folklore. Sometimes the smallest bit of information leads to a "hit". I have done this free of charge for over 1,000 Potts researchers. When the search is complete I will advise you via email regarding the results. All Inquiries are kept on file under the inquirer's name to facilitate repeat inquiries.

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