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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The saga of the name Coffin follows a line reaching back through history to the days of the Anglo-Saxon
tribes in Britain. It was a name for someone who worked as a person who made baskets. The surname Coffin is derived from the Old French words cofin
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 Coffin may also be a nickname
derived from the Latin word calvus,
which means bald.
The surname Coffin was first found in 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." 
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Coffin were recorded, including Coffin, Coffyn, Colvin, Caffin, Caffyn, Chafen, Chaffine and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coffin research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coffin History in all our PDF Extended History products
More information is included under the topic Early Coffin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England
went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Coffin family emigrate to North America:
Coffin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Francis Coffin who settled in Virginia in 1635
- Francis Coffin, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
- Tristram Coffin, who landed in Massachusetts in 1642
- Anne Coffin settled in Virginia in 1650
- James Coffin, who landed in Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1660
Coffin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Richard Coffin, who landed in New York in 1795
Coffin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- C Coffin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
- J W Coffin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
- Mrs. M Coffin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
- Mrs. M A Coffin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
- M B Coffin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
Coffin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Albert Coffin, aged 21, who emigrated to the United States, in 1903
- Alice Coffin, aged 53, who landed in America, in 1909
- Arthur H. Coffin, aged 26, who emigrated to the United States, in 1921
- Arthur Coffin, aged 27, who settled in America, in 1922
- Annie Coffin, aged 38, who emigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1923
Coffin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Guy Carleton Coffin U.E born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Westfield [Grand Bay-Westfield], New Brunswick c. 1783 son of Major John Coffin
- Mr. Isaac Coffin U.E who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1783
- Mr. James Coffin U.E who settled in Home District, [Niagara], Lincoln County, Ontario c. 1783 he served as a Commy
- Mr. John Coffin U.E who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1783
- Major John Coffin U.E born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Westfield [Grand Bay-Westfield], New Brunswick c. 1783 he served in the British Army
Coffin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Richard Coffin, English convict from Cornwall, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- Tristam Coffin (1909-1990), American film and television actor from the latter 1930s through the 1970s
- Robert Peter Tristam Coffin (1892-1955), writer, poet and professor awarded the 1936 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
- Bob Coffin, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Nevada 1st District, 1996
- Allen Coffin, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, 1896; Prohibition Candidate for Massachusetts State Attorney General, 1905
- Alexander J. Coffin, American politician, Member of New York State Senate 8th District, 1848-49
- Alexander Coffin, American politician, Mayor of Hudson, New York, 1821-23
- Albert G. Coffin Jr., American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Bahia, 1917-18
- A. G. Coffin, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1856
- C. W. F. Coffin, American Republican politician, Mayor of Englewood, New Jersey; Elected 1943
- Caleb Coffin, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Greene County, 1824
- Gatherings Toward a Genealogy of the Coffin Family by W. S. Appleton.
- Genealogy of the Early Generations of the Coffin Family in New England by Sivanus Jenkins Macy.
- The Long Years by Jean M. Maire.
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 praemiaMotto Translation:
Rewards await right actions.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
- Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
- Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
- Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
- Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
- Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
- Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
- Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
- Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
- Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
The Coffin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Coffin 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 5 May 2016 at 16:13.
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