Cookesay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Cookesay dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in Cooksey, a village in Worcestershire. [1] The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it is spelled Cochesei. It is probable that the place name meant "cock's island," or possibly "cock's stream."

Early Origins of the Cookesay family

The surname Cookesay was first found in Worcestershire where one of the first records of name was Sir Walter Cokesey of Cokesey, Worcestershire, who died 1295. He claimed descent from a family that held large estates in Kidderminster, Witley and other places. His son, Walter Cokesey held lands in Witley in 1328. A brass plate at Kidderminster Church notes the burial of Walter Cooksey in 1407. [2]

Early History of the Cookesay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cookesay research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1400 and 1481 are included under the topic Early Cookesay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cookesay Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Cookesay have been found, including Cookesey, Cooksy, Cooksey, Cookesy and others.

Early Notables of the Cookesay family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Cookesay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cookesay family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Cookesay, or a variant listed above: Will Cooksey and his wife Sarah and children settled in Virginia in 1623; John Cooksey settled in New England in 1767; Daniel Cooksey settled in Virginia in 1670..



The Cookesay 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: Prodesse quam conspici
Motto Translation: To do good rather than be conspicuous.


  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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