I also posted this on my web page at freewebs.
Today I received an email from a Michael Cotten. He is involved in a Cotton/Cotten DNA project. The purpose of the project is to create a database to help identify the various families bearing the Cotton or Cotten surname.
I have been sitting on the fence about DNA projects. On the negative side, the results cannot prove a paper trail. It costs. And it depends on the amount of people in the database. But on the positive side,in the future when the database is more extensive, it may be more conclusive. And of course, if few participate, the database can't grow. Plus, as it states on the Cotten webpage, it can help to back up research, and a negative result can disprove many incorrect assumptions.
According to Michael, the information I have on the origin of the Cotten name is false. He wrote, "You mentioned a Cotten family who was descended from a John de Cotentin. Unfortunately there was no such person. The "De Cotentin" descent was invented by a man named Matlock who drew up an extended fake genealogy."
So it seems like it's back to the drawing board. I found a pedigree for Joseph R. Cotten on familysearch.org but the url for the source is xtremechat.org. Very suspicious! The person who submitted the source went to a lot of trouble posting information that goes back to the 9th century but of course that doesn't mean he is correct or legit.
Although I don't believe we are related by blood to the Cottens, I am certain that they are the reason my grandfather chose that name. That is the reason why I am interested in the origin and the genealogy of the Joseph R. Cotten family.