Origins Available: English, Scottish
Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name given to a person who made baskets. The surname Cofen is derived from the Old French words cofin and coffin, which in turn come from the Late Latin word cophinus, which means basket. Occupational names such as this one frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames. The English word coffin is a specialized development of this word which did not exist before the 16th century. The surname Cofen may also be a nickname derived from the Latin word calvus, which means bald.
Early Origins of the Cofen family
Devon at Alwington, a parish, in the union of Bideford, hundred of Shebbear, Great Torrington. "In the church [of Alwington], over the door of the chancel, is a curious ancient monument to a member of the Coffin family." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Cofen family
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Cofen Spelling Variations
spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Cofen include Coffin, Coffyn, Colvin, Caffin, Caffyn, Chafen, Chaffine and many more.
Early Notables of the Cofen family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Cofen family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Cofen were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Francis Coffin who settled in Virginia in 1635.
The Cofen 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: Extant recte factis praemia
Motto Translation: Rewards await right actions.
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