Catchpenny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Catchpenny comes from when its first bearer worked as 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 Catchpenny family

The surname Catchpenny 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 Catchpenny family

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

Catchpenny Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Catchpenny include Catchpole, Catchpolle, Cageypole, Cachpole, Cachpool and many more.

Early Notables of the Catchpenny family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Catchpenny family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Catchpenny or a variant listed above: 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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