The ancestors of the bearers of the Cockesay family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England
. They were first found in Cooksey, a village in Worcestershire
Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book
of 1086, where it is spelled Cochesei. It is probable that the place name meant "cock's island," or possibly "cock's stream."
Early Origins of the Cockesay family
The surname Cockesay was first found in Worcestershire
where one of the first records of name was Sir Walter Cokesey of Cokesey, Worcestershire
, who died 1295. He claimed descent from a family that held large estates in Kidderminster, Witley and other places. His son, Walter Cokesey held lands in Witley in 1328. A brass plate at Kidderminster Church notes the burial of Walter Cooksey in 1407.
Early History of the Cockesay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cockesay research.Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1400 and 1481 are included under the topic Early Cockesay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cockesay Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon
surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. Changes in Anglo-Saxon
names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Cockesay include Cookesey, Cooksy, Cooksey, Cookesy and others.
Early Notables of the Cockesay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Cockesay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cockesay family to the New World and Oceana
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Cockesay or a variant listed above: Will Cooksey and his wife Sarah and children settled in Virginia in 1623; John Cooksey settled in New England
in 1767; Daniel Cooksey settled in Virginia in 1670..
The Cockesay 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: Prodesse quam conspici
Motto Translation: To do good rather than be conspicuous.