Cawthan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Cawthan is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in Cawthorn, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, or in Cawthorne, in the West Riding. While the names are superficially similar,their origins are different.
The village of Cawthorn was rendered as Caluetun in the Domesday Book,  and is derived from the Old English terms calf and tun, which means calf and enclosure, respectively. It meant the farm where calves are raised.
The village of Cawthorne's name appeared as Caltorne in the Domesday Book. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English terms cald and thorne, which mean cold and thorn tree, respectively. It meant exposed thorn tree, and probably indicated a location marked by a solitary thorn tree. 
Early Origins of the Cawthan family
The surname Cawthan was first found in Yorkshire, where the Cawthan family held a family seat from ancient times. The first known bearer of the name was William de Calthorn, who was recorded in the 1175 in Yorkshire. The spelling of the name seems to indicate that this branch of the family originated in the West Riding village of Cawthorne, documented in the Domesday Book as "Caltorne."
Over in Lancashire, Nether Wyersdale was an ancient family seat. "The ancestors of the late John Fenton Cawthorne, Esq., M. P. for Lancaster, are said to have held a portion of Wyersdale for six or seven hundred years; and George III. once contemplated the revival of the barony of Wyersdale in the person of Mr. Cawthorne, whom he intended to create lord Wyersdale. Wyreside, an elegant mansion, has long been the residence of the Cawthorne family." 
In nearby Over Wyersdale, a close branch of the family was found. "William Cawthorne, in 1683, gave a school-house, with a messuage, some land, and a rent-charge of £15, for which 30 boys are instructed; and another school has an allowance of £20 per annum from the Society of Friends." 
Early History of the Cawthan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cawthan research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1175, 1273, 1379, 1719, 1788, 1605, 1659, 1605, 1605, 1637, 1719 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Cawthan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cawthan Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Cawthan are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Cawthan include: Cawthorn, Cawthorne, Cauthorn, Cauthorne, Cawtharne, Cothern, Cothern, Cawthern and many more.
Early Notables of the Cawthan family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas Cawton, the elder (1605-1659), an English clergyman of Presbyterian and Royalist views. He "was born at Rainham, Norfolk, in 1605. was born at Rainham, Norfolk, in 1605. He was sent to Queens' College, Cambridge, by Sir Roger Townshend, and became so remarkable for his piety, that profane scholars used 'Cawtonist' as 'Simeonite' or 'Puseyite' were used more recently...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cawthan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cawthan family
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Cawthan or a variant listed above: Richard Cawthorne, who settled in Virginia in 1681; Jacob Cawthorn, who immigrated to Virginia in 1719; Charles Cawthorne, a convict who arrived in Maryland in 1720.
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.