, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Cocksworthy. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Cocksworthy family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames
were adopted in medieval England
is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Cocksworthy is a local
type of surname and the Cocksworthy family lived in Devon
, at the village of Coxworth.
Early Origins of the Cocksworthy family
The surname Cocksworthy was first found in Devon
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor of Yarnscombe in that county. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book
in 1086 A.D. the estates of Yarnescombe (anciently spelt Hernescombe) were held by Robert from Baldwin the Sheriff of Devon
and, conjecturally, the family name may be descended from this person although the Cornish source may predominate by their close relationship to the Cornish family of Trevalian. By the nature of an explanation of the meaning of the name, a "worthy" was one who held personal rights above and beyond the influence of the tenant-in-chief, in this case the rights to a roost of a cock, hens and chickens, and more importantly, the manure therefrom. All other roosts were the property of the Lords of the Manor. To be a worthy of any farm product meant a person of high distinction, next to the Lords of the Manor and usually succeeding to that position.
Early History of the Cocksworthy family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cocksworthy research.Another 211 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 151 and 1515 are included under the topic Early Cocksworthy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cocksworthy 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 Coxworthie, Coxworthy, Cockworthy, Cocksworthy, Cooksworthy, Cooksworthie, Cockworthie, Cookworth, Coxsworth and many more.
Early Notables of the Cocksworthy family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Cocksworthy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cocksworthy family to the New World and Oceana
Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Cocksworthy were John and Jane Cookworthy who landed in New York state in 1822 with seven children. In Newfoundland the family settled in Grand Bank and later moved to St. John's..