The illustrious surname Carthewe finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England
known as Cornwall
. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England
, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames
were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal
System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal
territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic
names, the Cornish predominantly used local
surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People
at the time that surnames first came into use. Local
surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Carthewe is a local type of surname and the Carthewe family lived in Cornwall. Their name, however, is derived from a Cornish phrase meaning dweller at the black rock,
indicating that the original bearer lived near a prominent black rock.
Early Origins of the Carthewe family
The surname Carthewe was first found in Cornwall
where they held a family seat
from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest
and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Early History of the Carthewe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Carthewe research.Another 201 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 166 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Carthewe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Carthewe Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England
, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations
often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall
and the rest of England
. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic
language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Carthew, Carthewe and others.
Early Notables of the Carthewe family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Carthewe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Carthewe family to Ireland
Some of the Carthewe family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland
is included in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Carthewe family to the New World and Oceana
An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Carthewe: Edmund Carthew who settled in Maryland in 1774.
The Carthewe Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Bedhoh fyr ha heb drok
Motto Translation: Let us be wise without guile; or, as it is expressed in scriptural phrase, “Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”.