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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Coe family come from? What is the English Coe family crest and coat of arms? When did the Coe family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Coe family history?

The origins of the Coe surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name originated with an early member who was a jackdaw. Checking further we found the name was derived from the Old English word coo. This was in turn derived from the Old Norse word ka, which was their word for jackdaw. Thus the original bearer of this name must have reminded his contemporaries of a jackdaw and was referred to as "Coe" as a nickname.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Coe has been recorded under many different variations, including Coe, Coes, Cowe, Kow, Cawe, Kowe, Coo, Ku, Koo and others.

First found in Lancashire, where the Coe family held a family seat from ancient times. The earliest known bearer of the name was Osbert Ka, who was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Lancashire in 1188.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coe research. Another 288 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1188, 1221, 1783, and 1860 are included under the topic Early Coe History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 22 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Coe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 110 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Coe or a variant listed above:

Coe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Coe, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • Robert Coe, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1634
  • Robert Coe, who sailed from Ipswich to Watertown on the ship Francis in 1634
  • Jane Coe, aged 30, arrived in America in 1635
  • Robert Coe (15961689), an early English settler to America in 1635 from Thorpe-Morieux, Suffolk


Coe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Coe, aged 52, landed in New York in 1711-1712
  • Anthony Coe, who landed in America in 1760-1763

Coe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Joshua Coe, who landed in America in 1811
  • John Earnst Coe, who arrived in Maryland in 1828
  • Robert T Coe, who arrived in Arkansas in 1898

Coe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Edward Coe, aged 40, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Epaminondas"
  • Charles Coe, aged 22, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee"
  • Elizabeth Coe, aged 45, a cook, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Oriental,"
  • Elizabeth Coe, aged 13, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Oriental,"
  • Mary A. Coe, aged 32, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"

Coe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Henry Coe arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865
  • Hannah Coe arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865
  • George Coe arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865
  • Elizabeth Coe arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865
  • Sarah Coe arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865


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  • George Coe (1929-2015), born George Julian Cohen, an American Academy Award nominated film, stage and television actor, known for his roles in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Blind Date (1987) and The Entity (1982)
  • Wesley Coe (1879-1926), American Olympic sliver medalist for shot put at the 1904 games
  • Christine Sadler Coe (1902-1983), American author, journalist, and magazine editor
  • Michael Douglas Coe (b. 1929), American archaeologist, anthropologist, epigrapher and author
  • William Rogers Coe (1901-1971), American Vice-President and Treasurer of the Virginian Railway Company
  • Barry S. Coe (b. 1934), American actor
  • Mr. Harry Coe (d. 1912), aged 21, English Trimmer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Sue Coe (b. 1951), English artist and illustrator
  • Jonathan Coe (b. 1961), English novelist and writer
  • Ron Coe (1933-1988), English professional cyclist

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  • A Folk History of the Coe Ridge Negro Colony by William Lynwood Montell.
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  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
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  9. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Coe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Coe 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 17 August 2015 at 13:10.

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