Having studied these families for 20 years most of information pre 1600 is pure fantasy. There are no castles attributable to the Oats family. Following the Norman conquest Cornwall was allocated to Bishop Odo for his contribution. Following the plot to over throw William, in which Odo was implicated, Odo was spared his life and banished to France where he died a few years later. Cornwall was allocated to the Prince of Wales under the title of Duke of Cornwall. This remains to this day. There are a few aristocratic families with lands in Cornwall but the Oats family is not amongst them. The use of surnames as we know them, only became customaryfrom 1300 - 1600 and varies according to the sophistication of the region. The first recorded appearance of the name was in a document dated in the 1400's by one John Ots. This was a letter regarding a shipment of tin from St Ives to Barnstaple with a destination in Wales. There are only a few BMD records relating to the name prior to 1600 in Cornwall. The name WATTS was also used. Its relevant to bear in mind that most Cornish people spoke Gaelic at this time. The Clergy were mainly English and spoke English. In recording names they would have struggled with the Gaelic pronunciation and hence the discrepanciesin many records. I have investigated the origin of the James in question and been unable to identify him as Cornish. Since Cornwall has been rather impoverished through history, it would have been unusual for someone to suddenly appear with this level of education from an ordinary background. I have always been of the opinion that James came from Yorkshire or Midlands where there are number of Oats families.