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

Where did the English Coe family come from? What is the English Coe family crest and coat of arms? When did the Coe family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Coe family history?

The origins of the Coe surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name originated with an early member who was a jackdaw. Checking further we found the name was derived from the Old English word coo. This was in turn derived from the Old Norse word ka, which was their word for jackdaw. Thus the original bearer of this name must have reminded his contemporaries of a jackdaw and was referred to as "Coe" as a nickname.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Coe has been recorded under many different variations, including Coe, Coes, Cowe, Kow, Cawe, Kowe, Coo, Ku, Koo and others.

First found in Lancashire, where the Coe family held a family seat from ancient times. The earliest known bearer of the name was Osbert Ka, who was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Lancashire in 1188.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coe research. Another 288 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1188, 1221, 1783, and 1860 are included under the topic Early Coe History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 22 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Coe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 110 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Coe or a variant listed above:

Coe Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Coe, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • Robert Coe, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1634
  • Robert Coe, who sailed from Ipswich to Watertown on the ship Francis in 1634
  • Jane Coe, aged 30, arrived in America in 1635
  • Robert Coe (15961689), an early English settler to America in 1635 from Thorpe-Morieux, Suffolk


Coe Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John Coe, aged 52, landed in New York in 1711-1712
  • Anthony Coe, who landed in America in 1760-1763

Coe Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Joshua Coe, who landed in America in 1811
  • John Earnst Coe, who arrived in Maryland in 1828
  • Robert T Coe, who arrived in Arkansas in 1898

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  • Barry S. Coe (b. 1934), American actor
  • Michael Douglas Coe (b. 1929), American archaeologist, anthropologist, epigrapher and author
  • William Rogers Coe (1901-1971), American Vice-President and Treasurer of the Virginian Railway Company
  • Christine Sadler Coe (1902-1983), American author, journalist, and magazine editor
  • Ron Coe (1933-1988), English professional cyclist
  • Jonathan Coe (b. 1961), English novelist and writer
  • Sue Coe (b. 1951), English artist and illustrator
  • Mr. Harry Coe (d. 1912), aged 21, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Kelvin Coe (1946-1992), Australian ballet dancer, often considered to have been Australia's finest
  • Sebastian Coe (b. 1956), British Olympic athlete hailed as the most outstanding middle-distance runner of the 1980s

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  • A Folk History of the Coe Ridge Negro Colony by William Lynwood Montell.
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  1. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The Coe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Coe Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 February 2014 at 09:38.

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