Catchpenney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Catchpenney is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name given to a medieval policeman, called a cacherel. The name comes from the weapon carried by the cacherel, called a catchpole, used to hold people around the head so as to subdue them. The cacherel was often colloquially referred to the weapon he carried. [1]

Early Origins of the Catchpenney family

The surname Catchpenney was first found in Dorset or Caterpole, Suffolk. [2]

Proving the longstanding occupation, the first record of the family was found in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Aluricus Chacepol. [3] Later, Hugo le Cachepol was registered in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1221. Robert Chacecapel was found in the Pipe Rolls for Devon in 1201. [4]

Another source explains in more detail; in that the name was derived from "a village as well as a town officer; an undersergeant who obtained his name from catching his victim by the head by means of a long wooden forceps that nipped by the throat the delinquent who was wanted. The name was borne by Margaret Catchpole, the horse-thief who was sentenced to be hanged at Ipswich, but was transported, in 1841 [to Australia]. We have the name also as Catchpool. In 'Piers Plowman's Vision' we are told, of the two thieves crucified on Calvary, 'A Catchpole came forth And cracked both their legges.' " [5] The weapon the catchpoll carried may still be seen in the Tower of London.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Geoffrey le Cachepol, Oxfordshire; and Ralph le Cachepol, Oxfordshire. [6]

Early History of the Catchpenney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Catchpenney research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1587, 1627, 1647, 1561 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Catchpenney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Catchpenney Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Catchpenney include Catchpole, Catchpolle, Cageypole, Cachpole, Cachpool and many more.

Early Notables of the Catchpenney family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Catchpenney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Catchpenney family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Catchpenney were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Richard Cattchpol who settled in Virginia in 1770.



  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Baring-Gould S., Family Names and their Story. London: Seeley, Service & Co. Limited, 1913. Print
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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