Show ContentsCooksley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Cooksley first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having 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 Cooksley family

The surname Cooksley 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 Cooksley family

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

Cooksley Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Cooksley has appeared include Cookesey, Cooksy, Cooksey, Cookesy and others.

Early Notables of the Cooksley family (pre 1700)

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

United States Cooksley migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Cooksley arrived in North America very early:

Cooksley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • James Lawrence Cooksley, who landed in Alabama in 1920 [3]

Australia Cooksley migration to Australia +

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

Cooksley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Cooksley, British Convict who was convicted in Sussex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Coromandel" on 27th October 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Timothy Cooksley, aged 36, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon"

Contemporary Notables of the name Cooksley (post 1700) +

  • Harry Edward Cooksley (b. 1994), English association footballer
  • Mr. Andrew Cooksley M.B.E. (b. 1966), Welsh Chief Executive for American College Testing Limited (ACT), was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Education [5]
  • Bertie Victor "Bert" Cooksley OBE, MM (1894-1980), New Zealand politician, Member of Parliament for Wairarapa (1949–1963)
  • Graeme Cooksley, New Zealand former rugby league player who played in the 1970 and 1972 World Cups
  • Mark Stephen Bill "Cowboy" Cooksley (b. 1971), New Zealand former professional rugby union player

Prince of Wales colliery
  • Mr. Henry Cooksley (b. 1852), Welsh coal miner who was working at the Prince of Wales Colliery in Abercarn, Wales on the 11th September 1878 when there was a coal mine explosion; he died [6]

The Cooksley 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)
  3. 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)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th March 2021). Retrieved from
  5. "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018,
  6. Entombed in flood and flame (retrieved 3rd August 2021). Retrieved from on Facebook