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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Cockayne is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name. It was a name 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."

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The surname Cockayne 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. 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.

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 Cockayne has appeared include Cockayne, Cokayne, Cocaine, Cokayn, Cokein, Cokaigne, Cokkaigne, Cokkayn, Cockayn and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cockayne research. Another 197 words (14 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 Cockayne History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 235 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cockayne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cockayne Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Edward Cockayne, English convict from Nottingham, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia

Cockayne Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Harriet Cockayne arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Merrington" in 1867
  • John Cockayne arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Merrington" in 1867
  • Anne Cockayne arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Merrington" in 1867
  • Clara Cockayne arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Merrington" in 1867

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  • T. William Cockayne, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Utah, 1972
  • Benjamin Cockayne, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Grave Creek, Virginia, 1841-49
  • David Cockayne FRS (1942-2010), English electron microscopist and university professor at the University of Oxford
  • Ben Cockayne (b. 1983), English rugby player
  • Edward Alfred Cockayne (1880-1956), English physician who identified Cockayne syndrome
  • Leonard Cockayne FRS (1855-1934), New Zealand horticulturist awarded the Darwin Medal in 1928


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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.

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  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)

Other References

  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  11. ...

The Cockayne Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cockayne Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 November 2015 at 10:16.

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