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

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

The Cole history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Cole history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Cole family originally lived in Cornwall. Their name, however, is derived from the Old English word coll, which means hill, and indicates that the original bearer lived near such a land form.

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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 Cole, Coles, Coal, Coale, Coalas and others.

First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cole research. Another 207 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1622, 1681, 1656, 1663, 1627, 1697, 1616, 1697, 1659, 1660, 1590, 1680, 1633, 1713, 1634 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Cole History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 255 words(18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cole Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Cole family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 83 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Cole:

Cole Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Francis Cole, who arrived in Virginia in 1616
  • Mrs. William Cole, who arrived in Virginia in 1616
  • Jon Cole, who landed in Virginia in 1618
  • Samuel Cole, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Richard Cole, who arrived in Maryland in 1633


Cole Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Sara Cole, who landed in Virginia in 1704
  • Jeremiah Cole, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Geo Cole, who arrived in Virginia in 1718
  • Hance Jareck Cole, aged 26, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Diana Cole, who arrived in Maryland in 1740


Cole Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Hugh Cole, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803-1827
  • Patrick Cole, who landed in New York in 1812
  • Wm Cole, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Charles Cole, who landed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1833
  • Ellen Cole, aged 25, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1835


Cole Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Wigel Cole, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Wignal Cole, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Wognu] Cole, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Mr. Adam Cole U.E who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783
  • Mr. Albion Cole U.E born in Long Island, New York, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783


Cole Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Levi Cole, who landed in Canada in 1828
  • Elisha Cole, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • James Cole, who landed in Canada in 1833
  • Catharine Cole, aged 35, a widow, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the schooner "Sarah" from Belfast
  • James Cole, aged 12, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the schooner "Sarah" from Belfast


Cole Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century


  • V W Cole, who landed in St John, New Brunswick in 1907

Cole Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Cole, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Cole, English convict from Dorset, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Henry Cole, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • George Cole arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839
  • Sarah Cole arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839


Cole Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Henry Cole landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Adelaide
  • John Cole landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Robert Cole landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Thomas Cole landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • George Cole landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Adelaide


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  • Zerelda Elizabeth Cole (1825-1911), birth name Zerelda James, American mother of the infamous Jesse and Frank James, American Wild West outlaws
  • Major-General William Edward Cole (1874-1953), American Member of the War Department Personnel Board (1941-1944)
  • Lionel Frederick "Freddy" Cole (b. 1931), American jazz singer/pianist and brother of famous Jazz musician Nat King Cole
  • Natalie Maria Cole (b. 1950), American singer, songwriter and performer and daughter of jazz legend Nat King Cole
  • Jerry Cole (1939-2008), American guitarist
  • Edward B. Cole (1879-1918), American Marine Corps officer, recipient of the Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Légion d'honneur and the Croix de Guerre, eponym of the destroyer USS Cole (DD-155)
  • William Randolph "Cozy" Cole (1909-1981), American jazz drummer
  • Alphaeus Philemon Cole (1876-1988), American artist, engraver and etcher who died at the age of 112
  • Allan Cole (b. 1943), American author and television writer, best known for his Sten Chronicles
  • Dandridge MacFarlan Cole (1921-1965), American aerospace engineer, futurist, lecturer, and author

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  • Cole Foot Prints by Camelia T. Denys.
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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: Deum Cole regem serva
Motto Translation: Worship God, obey the King.

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  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Cole Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cole 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 10 August 2015 at 12:47.

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