Cawton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancient roots of the Cawton family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Cawton comes 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 Cawton family
The surname Cawton was first found in Yorkshire, where the Cawton 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." 
Important Dates for the Cawton family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cawton 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 Cawton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cawton Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Cawton has appeared include Cawthorn, Cawthorne, Cauthorn, Cauthorne, Cawtharne, Cothern, Cothern, Cawthern and many more.
Early Notables of the Cawton 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 Cawton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cawton family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Cawton arrived in North America very early: 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.