History of your Surname
Get access to Otter family records.Start a free trial

Otter Family History

Otter Name Meaning

English German Dutch and Jewish (Ashkenazic): metonymic occupational name for an otter hunter or a nickname for someone supposedly resembling an otter from Middle English Middle High German oter Middle Dutch otter German Otter ‘otter’. The Jewish surname can be artificial. German: from an ancient Germanic personal name formed with ōd ‘possession’ + hāri ‘army’. English: from the Old Norse personal name Óttarr (from ótti ‘fear dread’) which could be Anglicized in Old English as Ohthere.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


Similar surnames: Oster, Cotter, Notter, Potter, Zotter, Etter, Rotter, Stier, Lotter

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Otter family from?

You can see how Otter families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Otter family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Otter families were found in United Kingdom in 1891. In 1891 there were 163 Otter families living in Yorkshire. This was about 23% of all the recorded Otter's in United Kingdom. Yorkshire had the highest population of Otter families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Otter surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Otter ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, Stone Quarryman and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Otter. 12% of Otter men worked as a Stone Quarryman and 78% of Otter women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Otter were General Labourer and Private Means. .

View Census Data for Otter | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • Stone Quarryman
    12%
  • Police Constable
    10%
  • Stone Quarrier Retired
    8%
  • General Labourer
    8%

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
    78%
  • Housewife
    3%
  • Unpaid Domestic
    3%
  • Private Means
    3%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Otter family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 24,000 census records available for the last name Otter. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Otter census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search UK census records for Otter

Passenger Lists

There are 3,000 immigration records available for the last name Otter. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Otter immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 5,000 military records available for the last name Otter. For the veterans among your Otter ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Otter military records

You've only scratched the surface of Otter family history

Discover More

What is the average Otter lifespan?

Between 1956 and 2004, in the United States, Otter life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1956, and highest in 1997. The average life expectancy for Otter in 1956 was 54, and 68 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Otter

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Otter family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial