Cawnitch History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The surname Cawnitch is a Welsh name that was first held when the Cawnitch 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 Cawnitch 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 Cawnitch family
The surname Cawnitch was first found in Devon, England where the "surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'the Cornish,' a Cornish man. We do not expect to find Cornish in Cornwall, but in Devonshire. Coming over the border the stranger would be called Cornish from the county he had left. Hence Cornish is rare in Cornwall and common in Devonshire. We may safely conclude that when we find Cornish in Cornwall the bearer has returned to the county whence his ancestors sprang." 
"The manor of Trevorick, [in St. Issey, Cornwall] on which the family of Cornish had their seat, was for several generations in their possession." 
"The Devonshire families of Cornish are now best represented in Newton Abbot and its neighbourhood. George Cornish was commander of one of the Bideford ships engaged in the Newfoundland trade in the reign of William III. " 
"In the parish registers [of Stratton, Cornwall] is preserved the following singular instance of longevity:-'Elizabeth Cornish, widow, buried March 10th, 1691. This Elizabeth Cornish was baptised in October, 1578. Her father's name was John Weale. She was when she died in the 114th year, having lived one hundred and thirteen years four months and fifteen days.' It appears by the register that in the year 1547, one hundred and fifty-three persons died in the small town of Stratton of the plague." 
Early History of the Cawnitch family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cawnitch research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1375, 1450, 1465, 1523, 1493, 1502, 1685, 1677 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Cawnitch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cawnitch Spelling Variations
Welsh 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. 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 Cawnitch has occasionally been spelled Cornish, Cornishe, Corniss, Cornise, Carnish, Cornich, Corniche, Cornick and many more.
Early Notables of the Cawnitch 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. " In the Privy Purse Expenses of Henry VII under date Nov. 12, 1493, a payment is entered 'to one Cornyshe for a prophecy in rewarde, 13s. 4d.,' and in the Privy Purse Expenses of Henry's Queen, Elizabeth of York, under date Dec. 1502, a similar amount for 'setting of a carralle upon Christmas day.' " 
His son, William Cornyshe...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cawnitch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cawnitch family
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Cawnitch: 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..
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- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Grove, Sir George, A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (AD. 1450-1889) London: Macmillan1902, Print, 2 Vols