When Edward Winfield Cotner was born on 23 October 1903, in Berea, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States, his father, James Lawrence Cotner, was 23 and his mother, May Amelia Rock, was 19. He married Helen R Berry on 7 January 1928, in Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States. They were the parents of at least 1 son and 3 daughters. He lived in Manchester Township, Passaic, New Jersey, United States in 1935 and Black River Township, Lorain, Ohio, United States in 1940. He died on 28 February 1983, in Elyria, Lorain, Ohio, United States, at the age of 79, and was buried in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States.
Probably an Americanized form of German Kötner or Köthner, status names for a cotter, derived from Middle High German, Middle Low German kote ‘shelter, cottage’, specifically of a kind that was rented on a daily basis and had little or no land with it. See Koth 1.