The surname Cawnish is a Welsh
name that was first held when the Cawnish family lived in the English county of Cornwall
. As a general rule, the greater the distance between individuals and their homelands, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, people who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. Consequently, the name Cawnish was not originally applied to a lifelong resident of Cornwall
, but rather to someone who emigrated from Cornwall
to another region.
Early Origins of the Cawnish family
The surname Cawnish was first found in Devon
, where they held a family seat
from very ancient times.
Early History of the Cawnish family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cawnish research.Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1375, 1450, 1465, 1523, 1685, 1677 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Cawnish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cawnish Spelling Variations
surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations
. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh
variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh
surnames came into use. Therefore, scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh
names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic
language of the Welsh
had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations
of particular Welsh
names are very important. The surname Cawnish has occasionally been spelled Cornish, Cornishe, Corniss, Cornise, Carnish, Cornich, Corniche, Cornick and many more.
Early Notables of the Cawnish family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was William Cornysh the Younger (also spelled Cornyshe or Cornish) (1465-1523), an English composer, dramatist, actor, and poet. His only surviving poem, was written in Fleet Prison. Henry Cornish (died 1685), was a London Alderman of the ward... Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cawnish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cawnish family to the New World and Oceana
In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh
families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Cawnish Samuel Cornish was one of the first settlers in North America, settling in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1637; and James Cornish was the first Schoolmaster and Town Clerk in Westfield, Massachusetts..