Our link to the Cottington family is through EDITH E. HAUSE, who married GEORGE W. COTTINGTON in Memphis, Michigan around the year 1900. That's her in the above photo, standing between George and her brother, Frank, in front of their general store.
   George's family is an old English clan, with their surname dating back a thousand years. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families, but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066 when a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arrived in England. In 1086, a record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conquerer, and was known as the "Domesday Book." The name "Coteuuid" appeared in the Domesday Book of 1066. Then "Cottingle" was recorded in Northumberland in the year 1227. The name was then documented as "Cotingtun" another branch was registered in 1257 in the county of Wiltshire, where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest. Another origin theory is that the surname of Cottington was a locational name, originally 'of Cottingham'—a spot in County Northumberland with its name derived from the Old English word Cottleah.
   The family's earliest Coat of Arms is a black shield with two silver hinds, counter trippant, in pale, with a Crest of a greyhound sejant. Spelling variations of this family name include: Cottingham, Cotingham, Cattingham, Catingham and others.
   Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants in North America were: Georg Cottington, who arrived in Virginia in 1636; and Catherine Cottingham, who arrived in Jamaica in 1679. The line we will follow here came into the United States in the early 19th Century, from Canada.

Personal Information
Census Image
Name:   Joseph Cottington
Age:   42
Estimated birth year:   <1838>
Birthplace:   New York
Occupation:   Cooper, Wagon Maker
Relation:   Head
Home in 1880:   Cambria, Niagara, NY
Father's birthplace:   Ontario
Mother's birthplace:   New York
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Personal Information
Census Image
Name: Joseph Cottington
Age in 1900: 62
Birthplace: New York
Home in 1900: Richmond, Macomb, Michigan
Occupation: Farmer
Birthplace of Father: New York
Birthplace of Mother New York
Roll 727
Page 5a
District 64
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SOURCE INFORMATION: 1880 and 1900 US Census data imaged from National Archives and Records Administration. Washington, DC.

SAR Application File
Revolutionary War Ancestor: Isaac Burgess
Submitted by: Charles Halstead Cottington
National Number: 57418
Date of Application: May 1, 1939
State #: 3022
Applied at: Philadelphia Chapter, Pennsylvania
Complete Document
Source Citation: Volume: 288; Tracing ancestry of Adam Cottington, Joseph Cottington, and Nelson Jay Cottington.
   The Cottington line that allied with our family can be traced to ADAM COTTINGTON (1800-1870) of Ontario, Canada, and his wife, a New Yorker named ELIZA BURGESS (1811-1893). They settled in Cambria, Niagara, New York before 1830, and had three children: ELIZABETH (b. 1829), MARIAH (b. 1832), and a son named JOSEPH COTTINGTON (1836 - 23 Mar 1912).
   Joseph lived next to his widowed mother, Eliza, in the 1880 census, along with his wife, MARY ANNE COBURN (1842-1916). Also listed are their three children: NELSON JAY (b. 1864), ALBERT or BURT (b. 1867) and GEORGE W. COTTINGTON (1872-1956).
   Joseph and his family then moved to Riley, St. Clair County, Michigan, before 1900. They brought two sons, Nelson Jay and George W. Cottington.

George W. Cottington (enlarge)
   Of the sons of Joseph Cottington, Burt disappeared from the record before 1900, so he either died young or stayed in New York. Nelson moved to Adrian, Lenawee County, Michigan and married NORMA SIMPSON (b. 1873) in 1894. In 1900, George married EDITH HAUSE, daughter of LABAN HAUSE and MELISSA SANDERSON-HAUSE.
   Soon after the marriage, George entered into a partnership with brother-in-law FRANK HAUSE at his general store—then called the "Frank A. Hause General Merchandise Goods Groceries & Crockery"—in Memphis. They renamed the business the "Hause-Cottington Store" and worked out of a simple wooden shop, but eventually moved into a brick building, at 80850 Main Street. (See a calendar from the store here.) In early Twentieth Century Michigan, general stores usually sold a wide range of goods—from food, clothing, and housewares to farm equipment. When money was scarce, the storekeeper might extend credit to regular customers or accept payment in kind, a practice known as "bartering." In rural communities like Memphis, the general store also served as a meeting place and source of local news. Add to that, Edith was by all accounts a great beauty, so she probably enlarged the store's male clientele by a great number.
   Meanwhile, George and Edith started a family:


  • FRANCES MARY COTTINGTON was born on 18 Oct 1905 in Memphis, Michigan. She graduated with a B.S. from the University of Michigan in 1928 and became a Doctor of Psychiatry, practicing in Hawaii. According to her nephew, Fredrick Cottington, "She did not keep in contact with the family often, and I don't have a lot of information on her." She died in Dec 1985 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • See her University of Michigan "Michiganensian Yearbook" photo here.
  • WILLIAM HAUSE COTTINGTON was born in 1911 in Michigan, and worked for Packard Motors. He married Hazel Strassburg and had two daughters, Joy and Bonnie. Joy lives in Florida and Bonnie lives in Texas. William died from injuries suffered in a car accident in April of 1956.
  • JOSEPHINE PRAY COTTINGTON was born in 1916 in Michigan. She married Carl Davis and became a long-time school teacher in the Denver Colorado area. Fredrick Cottington recounts, "My Aunt Jo returned to Michigan in 1989 after her husband had passed. She died in March of 1998 at the age of 82."
  • JOHN FREDRICK COTTINGTON was born on 5 Jul 1919 in Michigan. He worked many different jobs while running Cottington Excavations. He married my Mother Juanita Jean Leaym (d. August 1981) in 1941, and they had six children. The oldest. born in February of 1945, is Georgia Lee Cottington. She married Willard Pacholke in 1965, and they have two children, a son Jeffery and a daughter Shawn Pacholke-Lange. Fredrick Jay Cottington, was born in March 1950 (family listed below). Larry Joe Cottington was born on 11 Jun 1953, married (1) Denise Rhodos (deceased) and (2) Debbie Treend on 6 Nov 2005, and has two sons, Blake and Brant. Cheryl Ann Cottington Woolman (b. Feb 1958), married Dwight Woolman and has a daughter Heather and a son Aaron; Scott Alan Cottington (b. 15 Mar 1959); Marla Sue Cottington (b. 7 May 1961), married Henry Waggoner and one daughter, Holly Jean (b. 8 Nov). John died on 19 Jun 1992 in Memphis, Michigan.

  • Edith Hause-Cottington (enlarge)
       The American general store flourished throughout the 19th century but declined rapidly in the 20th century, particularly after the 1920s. It was mostly succeeded by specialized stores, each handling a relatively narrow product range or a particular type of good. The Hause-Cottington store ceased operation about this time, as well, but the families remained close. (The actual store is still running today in Memphis as a drug store, under different owners.)
       Edith Hause Cottington was 46 years old when my JOSEPHINE PRAY was born, and 49 years old when her last child, JOHN FREDRICK COTTINGTON, was born. The eldest son, WILLIAM HAUSE COTTINGTON, was the first of his generation to pass away, in a 1956 car accident. His nephew Fredrick Cottington (son of John) remembers, "My mother always said that my grandfather came home from my Uncle Bill's funeral and went to bed never to get up again. When I was born the Cottington household consisted of my grandfather, my uncle Bill, aunt Hazel, cousins Joy and Bonnie, my mother & father and my sister. The house was huge with two living rooms, two dining rooms and two kitchens, there was one bedroom downstairs and five bedrooms up stairs. Three of the bedrooms matched the dimensions of the two living rooms and one of the dining rooms. Even with all those people it was not crowded. I did check the 1940 census online and found that in 1940 only George, Edith, Aunt Jo and my father were residing there."

    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name:   Cottington, George
    Age:   68
    Birth year:   1872
    Birthplace:   Michigan
    Home in 1940:   Memphis Village, Riley Township, St. Clair, Michigan
    Occupation:   Manager, Furniture Industry
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     (PDF 136K)
    Personal Information
    Census Image
    Name:   Cottington, John (Page 2)
    Age:   20
    Birth year:   1920
    Birthplace:   Michigan
    Home in 1940:   Memphis Village, Riley Township, St. Clair, Michigan
    Occupation:   Grocery Clerk
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     (PDF 136K)
    SOURCE INFORMATION: Data imaged from National Archives and Records Administration.

       At the start of World War II, John enlisted 2 Mar 1942 at Fort Custer, Michigan. His son, Fredrick, remembers: "My father was an Army Air Corp member in WWII, stationed state side as a B17 Crew Chief. He taught new airmen in Florida and Washington. He became very ill after he was discharged (on 17 Nov 1945), and ended up in a Veteran's Hospital (1947-48). He was sent home and eventually felt well enough to return to work. After I was born he suffered a relapse and returned to the Veterans Hospital only to have the doctor tell him that he had sent him home to die the first time. He recovered after another lengthy stay and returned home. One of his Doctors gave him orders to not smoke, drink or consume pork. He followed those directions and lived to almost 73 years of age. He had Esophageal Cancer and suffered a stroke after surgury to remove the esophagus. Our family took him home and cared for him the last ten days of his life. He passed away just feet from where his own father had died 36 years earlier." John died on 19 Jun 1992 in Memphis, St Clair, Michigan.


  • FREDRICK JAY COTTINGTON was born in March of 1950, the first grandson to George ("and he always had a stick of gum for me"). He married Margaret M. Hyde in November of 1969, and they have a son, William Jay Cottington (b. Aug 1970) and a daughter, Mary Ann (b. Feb 1972).