Catchpoll History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient name of Catchpoll finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from a name for 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 Catchpoll family

The surname Catchpoll 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 Catchpoll family

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

Catchpoll Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Catchpoll family name include Catchpole, Catchpolle, Cageypole, Cachpole, Cachpool and many more.

Early Notables of the Catchpoll family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Catchpoll family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Catchpoll surname or a spelling variation of the name include : 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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