Cocksay is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Cocksay family once lived 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 Cocksay family
The surname Cocksay 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 Cocksay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cocksay research.Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1400 and 1481 are included under the topic Early Cocksay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cocksay Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Cocksay family name include Cookesey, Cooksy, Cooksey, Cookesy and others.
Early Notables of the Cocksay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Cocksay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cocksay family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Cocksay surname or a spelling variation of the name include: 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 Cocksay 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.