Cothern History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the bearers of the Cothern family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in Cawthorn, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, or in Cawthorne, in the West Riding. While the names are superficially similar,their origins are different.
The village of Cawthorn was rendered as Caluetun in the Domesday Book,  and is derived from the Old English terms calf and tun, which means calf and enclosure, respectively. It meant the farm where calves are raised.
The village of Cawthorne's name appeared as Caltorne in the Domesday Book. Further research revealed that the name is derived from the Old English terms cald and thorne, which mean cold and thorn tree, respectively. It meant exposed thorn tree, and probably indicated a location marked by a solitary thorn tree. 
Early Origins of the Cothern family
The surname Cothern was first found in Yorkshire, where the Cothern family held a family seat from ancient times. The first known bearer of the name was William de Calthorn, who was recorded in the 1175 in Yorkshire. The spelling of the name seems to indicate that this branch of the family originated in the West Riding village of Cawthorne, documented in the Domesday Book as "Caltorne."
Over in Lancashire, Nether Wyersdale was an ancient family seat. "The ancestors of the late John Fenton Cawthorne, Esq., M. P. for Lancaster, are said to have held a portion of Wyersdale for six or seven hundred years; and George III. once contemplated the revival of the barony of Wyersdale in the person of Mr. Cawthorne, whom he intended to create lord Wyersdale. Wyreside, an elegant mansion, has long been the residence of the Cawthorne family." 
In nearby Over Wyersdale, a close branch of the family was found. "William Cawthorne, in 1683, gave a school-house, with a messuage, some land, and a rent-charge of £15, for which 30 boys are instructed; and another school has an allowance of £20 per annum from the Society of Friends." 
Early History of the Cothern family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cothern research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1175, 1273, 1379, 1719, 1788, 1605, 1659, 1605, 1605, 1637, 1719 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Cothern History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cothern Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Cothern include Cawthorn, Cawthorne, Cauthorn, Cauthorne, Cawtharne, Cothern, Cothern, Cawthern and many more.
Early Notables of the Cothern family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Thomas Cawton, the elder (1605-1659), an English clergyman of Presbyterian and Royalist views. He "was born at Rainham, Norfolk, in 1605. was born at Rainham, Norfolk, in 1605. He was sent to Queens' College, Cambridge, by Sir Roger Townshend, and became so remarkable for his piety, that profane scholars used 'Cawtonist' as 'Simeonite' or 'Puseyite' were used more recently...
In the United States, the name Cothern is the 13,824th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
Migration of the Cothern family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Cothern or a variant listed above: Richard Cawthorne, who settled in Virginia in 1681; Jacob Cawthorn, who immigrated to Virginia in 1719; Charles Cawthorne, a convict who arrived in Maryland in 1720.