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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Welsh

The name Code is from the rugged landscape of Wales. It is a Celtic name that was derived from Cudde or Codling, which were both pet-forms of the personal name Cuthbert. However, the Old English words "cod" and "codd," which mean bag, were used to refer to the belly or stomach c. 1250. Thus, Code may be a nickname surname applied to someone whose belly was thought to resemble a bag. During the 16th century, a codder was a worker in leather, a saddler, or a peltmonger. Thus, Code may also be an occupational surname applied to someone involved in one of these trades.


The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. It was up to the priest or the scribe taking the official records to determine how the spoken name was to be made literal. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Code have included Code, Codd, Codde, Coad, Coade and others.

First found in Cornwall, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Code research. Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1648, 1709, 1672, 1689, 1689, 1690 and 1635 are included under the topic Early Code History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Code Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Code family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Code:

Code Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Walter Code, with his wife and family, settled in Virginia in 1648

Code Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Code was an early settler in New Hampshire
  • Patrick Code, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1852

Code Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Nicholas Code, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1810

Code Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Stephen Code arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cressy" in 1847


  • Major-General James Arthur Jr. Code (1893-1971), American Chief Signal Officer US Army (1945)
  • John P. Code, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1908


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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Rowlands, John, John Rowlands and Sheila Rowlands. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999. Print. (ISBN 080631620).
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  6. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  11. ...

The Code Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Code 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 8 December 2015 at 12:30.

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