Coale History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Coale history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Coale history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Coale family originally lived in south west England. Their name, however, is derived from the Old English word coll, which means hill, and indicates that the original bearer lived near such a land form.

Cole is a hamlet in the parish of Pitcomb, union of Wincanton, hundred of Bruton, in Somerset and is a tything, in the parish, union, and hundred of Malmesbury, Malmesbury and Kingswood, in Wiltshire. [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been "derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Nicholas,' from nickname Cole. " [2]

The name is also a "very ancient Teutonic personal name. In Domesday Book, it appears as a baptismal and later in the [Hundredorum Rolls] as a family name. " [3]

"The distribution in the Domesday Book of 1086 suggests that it is more often from the Old English Cola, an original byname from Old English col 'coal' in the sense 'coal-black, swarthy' " [4]

Interestingly "Koyl, Coyll, Coil, or Coel was an ancient name, borne by two kings of Britain, the first of whom reigned A.D. 125." [5] These may actually refer to Old King Cole. It is generally thought that this nursery rhyme was probably based on a real person; however there are various theories as to his origin.

Early Origins of the Coale family

The surname Coale was first found in south west England. "Essentially south of England names, especially in the south - west, rarely occurring north of a line drawn west from the Wash. Cole is best distributed and has its principal homes in Devon and Wiltshire. Coles is most numerous in Somerset. " [6]

The first record of the name was found in the Domesday Book of 1086 which listed Cola and Cole. [7] From this earliest record we look to Kent to find Cola filius Lanterii there c. 1145 and a few years later, we find Robertus filius Cole listed in the Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1206. Geoffrey, Richard Cole were both listed in 1148 in Winton, Hampshire and a few years later as Knights Templar in 1185. [4]

Moving further north, in Yorkshire the Latin source "Cartularium Abbatiale de Whiteby, Ordinis S. Benedicti" noted Rand' filius Cole temp. 13th century. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes Cole and Elias Cole as holding lands there at that time. [2]

Early History of the Coale family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coale research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1580, 1622, 1681, 1656, 1663, 1627, 1697, 1616, 1697, 1659, 1660, 1590, 1680, 1633, 1713, 1634 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Coale History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coale Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Cole, Coles, Coal, Coale, Coalas and others.

Early Notables of the Coale family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Henry Cole (1500?-1580), Dean of St. Paul's, a native of Godshill in the Isle of Wight; Richard Cole, Sheriff of Newcastle; Thomas Cole (1622-1681), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Hampshire (1656), High Sheriff of Hampshire in 1663; Thomas Cole (1627?-1697), an English independent minister; William Coles (1616-1697), an English lawyer and politician, Member of Parliament for Downton in 1659 and 1660; Eunice Cole (c. 1590-1680), English...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coale Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Coale family to Ireland

Some of the Coale family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Coale migration to the United States +

Early records show that people bearing the name Coale arrived in North America quite early:

Coale Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Fra Coale, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [8]
  • Tho Coale, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [8]
  • Martin Coale, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [8]
  • Walter Coale, who landed in Virginia in 1662 [8]
  • Timothy Coale, who arrived in Virginia in 1666 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Coale Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Coale, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [8]
  • Leonard Coale, aged 32, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1730 [8]
Coale Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • I De Coale, aged 29, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1830 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Coale (post 1700) +

  • Ansley Johnson Coale (1917-2002), American demographer who led the European Fertility Project
  • William E. Coale, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maryland, 1860 [9]
  • S. Carroll Coale, American Democrat politician, Democratic National Convention, 1912 [10]
  • Mrs. Ralph W. Coale, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1940 [11]
  • Ralph W. Coale, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Missouri 10th District, 1906; Candidate for Presidential Elector for Missouri, 1924 [11]
  • Daniel Kinsman "Danny" Coale (b. 1988), American football wide receiver
  • Sherri Kay Coale (b. 1965), American head coach of the University of Oklahoma Sooners women's basketball team


The Coale Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Deum Cole regem serva
Motto Translation: Worship God, obey the King.


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  8. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) William Coale. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) S. Coale. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) Ralph Coale. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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