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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Cawthorne family come from? When did the Cawthorne family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cawthorne family history?

The ancestors of the Cawthorne surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in Cawthorn, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, or in Cawthorne, in the West Riding. While the names are superficially similar,their origins are different. The village of Cawthorn was rendered as Caluetun in the Domesday Book, [1] and is derived from the Old English terms calf and tun, which means calf and enclosure, respectively. It meant the farm where calves are raised. The village of Cawthorne's name appeared as Caltorne in the Domesday Book. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English terms cald and thorne, which mean cold and thorn tree, respectively. It meant exposed thorn tree, and probably indicated a location marked by a solitary thorn tree.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Cawthorne include Cawthorn, Cawthorne, Cauthorn, Cauthorne, Cawtharne, Cothern, Cothern, Cawthern and many more.

First found in Yorkshire, where the Cawthorne family held a family seat from ancient times. The first known bearer of the name was William de Calthorn, who was recorded in the 1175 in Yorkshire. The spelling of the name seems to indicate that this branch of the family originated in the West Riding village of Cawthorne, documented in the Domesday Book as "Caltorne."


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cawthorne research. Another 309 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1175, 1273, 1379, 1719, 1788, 1605, 1659, 1719 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Cawthorne History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 41 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cawthorne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Cawthorne Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Cawthorne, who settled in Virginia in 1681
  • Richard Cawthorne, who arrived in Virginia in 1681

Cawthorne Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Charles Cawthorne, a convict who arrived in Maryland in 1720

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  • Nigel Cawthorne (b. 1951), English writer of fiction and non-fiction
  • Richard Cawthorne, Australian actor


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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 2 July 2013 at 11:00.

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