Cohen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Cohen is a proud sign of an ancient Jewish culture. The surname Cohen is an occupational surname for a priest, and it comes from the Hebrew word kohen. Traditionally, priests were considered to have been members of a hereditary caste, descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses. Not all Jewish bearers of the surname Cohen belong to this caste, however. When many Jews were being forced to join the Russian Army for a term of 25 years, a number of them changed their last name to Cohen, because members of the clergy were exempt from service.


United States Cohen migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cohen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Myers Cohen, who settled in New York in 1740
  • Abraham Myers Cohen, who settled in America in 1740
  • Abraham Myers Cohen, who arrived in New York in 1740-1741 [1]
  • Samuel Myers Cohen, who arrived in New York in 1740-1741 [1]
  • Israel I Cohen, who landed in Virginia in 1784 [1]
Cohen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Berend Cohen, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1804 [1]
  • Abraham Berend Cohen, who settled in San Francisco, California, in 1804
  • Peter Cohen, aged 23, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Heartwig Cohen, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824 [1]
  • Lewis Cohen, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1825 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Cohen Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Simon Cohen, who landed in Mississippi in 1902 [1]
  • Henry Cohen, who landed in Mississippi in 1905 [1]
  • Jake Cohen, who landed in Mississippi in 1906 [1]

Canada Cohen migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Cohen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • L Cohen, who arrived in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Cohen migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cohen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Moses Cohen, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [2]
  • Mr. Daniel Cohen, (b. 1800), aged 30, English watch maker who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 22nd July 1830, arriving in New South Wales, he died in 1847 [3]
  • Abraham Cohen, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Maria" in 1849 [4]
  • Miss Mary Anne Cohen, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Slains Castle" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 25th January 1851 [5]

New Zealand Cohen migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cohen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Cohen, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Surat" in 1864

Contemporary Notables of the name Cohen (post 1700) +

  • Leonard Norman Cohen CC, GOQ (1934-2016), Canadian poet, novelist, and singer-songwriter, perhaps best known for his songs "Hallelujah", "Suzanne" and "First We Take Manhattan," inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Stanley Norman Cohen (1935-2020), American geneticist awarded the 1980 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1986 and the 1988 National Medal of Science
  • Bernard S. Cohen (1934-2020), American civil liberties attorney and Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates (1983-1996)
  • Stephen Frand Cohen (1938-2020), American scholar of Russian studies
  • Carolyn Cohen (1929-2017), American Professor Emeritus of Biology at Brandeis University
  • Elaine Lustig Cohen (1927-2016), American graphic designer, artist and archivist
  • Lawrence D. "Larry" Cohen (1933-2016), American attorney, politician, and jurist, Mayor of St. Paul (1972-1976)
  • Harold Cohen (1928-2016), British-born, American artist and educator who created AARON, a computer program designed to produce art autonomously
  • Paul Joseph Cohen (1934-2007), American mathematician awarded the Fields Medal in 1966 and the National Medal of Science in 1967
  • Jacob Cohen (1921-2004), birth name of Rodney Dangerfield, American comedian and actor, known for the catchphrase "I don't get no respect"
  • ... (Another 16 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Theodora Eugenia Cohen (1968-1988), American Student from Port Jervis, New York, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [6]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Gershon "Gus" Cohen, aged 18, English Third Class passenger from London who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 12 [7]


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/burrell
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The ANNA MARIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849AnnaMaria.htm
  5. ^ The Argus News Paper 27th January 1852 Page 2 (Retrieved 26th April 2019). Retrieved from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/4775844?browse=ndp%3Abrowse%2Ftitle%2FA%2Ftitle%2F13%2F1851%2F01%2F27%2Fpage%2F505154%2Farticle%2F4775844
  6. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html
  7. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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