Coan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Coan is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name that was given to a person who was a person who was considered a dreamer derived from the Old French word "coquaigne," which referred to an imaginary paradise. Accordingly other references show Cockaigne or Cockayne as a medieval mythical land of extreme luxury as noted in poems like "The Land of Cockaigne."

Early Origins of the Coan family

The surname Coan was first found in Warwickshire, where many of the family claim descent from Baddesley Ensor, a parish, in the union of Atherstone in the hundred of Hemlingford, which dates back to the Domesday Book [1] where it was listed as Bedeslei and later as Baddesley Endeshower in 1327 [2].

Another branch of the Cockayne (or Cokayne) family settled at Ashbourne, Derbyshire since the twelfth century where they owned the manors of Ashbourne Hall and Pooley Hall until the late 1600s.

One of the earliest records of the family was Sir John Cokayne (d. 1438), an early English judge, son of Edmund Cokayne of Ashbourne in Derbyshire and Pooley in Warwickshire. "In 1400 he was created chief Baron, was summoned to the council in the following year, and created a justice of the common pleas in 1405. In May of this year he was accused in parliament of having seized by force the manor of Baddesley Ensor in Warwickshire, and of keeping the owners out of possession, and was ordered to appear in person to answer to the charge. Of the further proceedings in this matter there is no record. The manor, however, remained in his possession, since by his will, which he made before starting for France with the military expedition sent to the aid of the Duke of Orleans in his struggle with the Duke of Burgundy in 1411-12, he entailed it upon his son John. " [3]

Today, Cockayne is a hamlet and ridge in North Yorkshire but his village dates back to only 1972 when the 1925 acre Bransdale estate was transferred to the National Trust through National Land Fund. For the most part, the village is owned by the National Trust.

Early History of the Coan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coan research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1193, 1219, 1221, 1228, 1273, 1332, 1661, 1671, 1509, 1547, 1561, 1626, 1613, 1619, 1602, 1661, 1631, 1687, 1658, 1688, 1687, 1716, 1608 and 1684 are included under the topic Early Coan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coan Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Coan has undergone many spelling variations, including Cockayne, Cokayne, Cocaine, Cokayn, Cokein, Cokaigne, Cokkaigne, Cokkayn, Cockayn and many more.

Early Notables of the Coan family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Cokayn, who was knighted during the reign of King Henry VIII (1509-1547); Sir William Cockayne (Cokayne) (1561-1626), English merchant in London, alderman, the first Governor of Londonderry (1613) and later Lord Mayor of London in 1619; Charles Cokayne, 1st Viscount Cullen (1602-1661); Brien Cokayne, 2nd Viscount Cullen (1631-1687); Charles Cokayne, 3rd Viscount Cullen (1658-1688)...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Coan family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Coan were among those contributors: Mary Cockane who arrived in Maryland in 1674.


Contemporary Notables of the name Coan (post 1700) +

  • Robert T. Coan, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Albion, New York, 1907 [4]
  • John R. Coan, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Minnesota 5th District, 1922; Postmaster at Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1935-53 (acting, 1935-36) [5]
  • John T. Coan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1940 [5]
  • John M. Coan, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Illinois 6th District, 1948 [5]
  • Irwin S. Coan, American Republican politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Derby, 1922 [6]
  • Henry Coan, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1916 [7]
  • George William Coan Jr. (1892-1975), American Democrat politician, Mayor of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1929-35, 1943-45; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 1944 [8]
  • George P. Coan, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Michigan State Senate 4th District, 1902 [8]
  • Charles R. Coan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1940 [9]
  • Ed Coan (b. 1963), American powerlifter, often described as "the greatest powerlifter in the history of the sport"
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Hillcrest Coal Mine
  • Mr. John Charles Coan (1879-1914), English Miner from Dipton, Durham, England, United Kingdom who worked in the Hillcrest Coal Mine, Alberta, Canada and died in the mine collapse [10]


The Coan 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: En bon espoyr
Motto Translation: In good hope.


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) Robert Coan. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) John Coan. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) Irwin Coan. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) Henry Coan. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) George Coan. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2017, April 12) Charles Coan. Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from http://www.hillcrestminedisaster.com/data/index.php?title=List_Of_Miners


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