Coatay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the English Channel to the south borders Cornwall, the homeland to the Coatay family name. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Coatay family originally lived in the village of Coad in Cornwall.

Early Origins of the Coatay family

The surname Coatay was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from very ancient times. This ancient Cornish name settled in early times in Gidley Castle in Cornwall, a grant from the early Celtic Kings. The family name also had branches in St. Austel and Morval. The Castle, which is a square fort with three towers, is used by the family name as a Crest on their Coat of Arms.

Further to the north in Yorkshire, Geoffrey Codi was found in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1210; Stephen Cody in the Subsidy Rolls for 1297; and Roger Cody in the Assize Rolls for 1364. [1]

Early History of the Coatay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coatay research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 127 and 1275 are included under the topic Early Coatay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coatay 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 Coady, Cody, Coadie, Code, Codde and others.

Early Notables of the Coatay family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Coatay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Coatay family to Ireland

Some of the Coatay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Coatay family

The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Coatay: Thomas Coady settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1768; Thomas Coady settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1850; Thomas Cody settled in Virginia in 1651.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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