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

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

The distinguished surname Couch emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. Occupational surnames were derived from the common trades of the medieval era. The surname Couch is an occupational name for a maker of couches or beds or an upholsterer. The surname is derived from the Old French word couch, which means couch. Occupational names frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames.


Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Couche, Couch, Cowch, Cowche, Cauch, Cawch, Cauche, Cawche, Coutche, Coutch, Coucher, Cowcher, Couchur and many more.

First found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from early times. Couch's Mill is a small hamlet in Cornwall which has been spelt Couchs Mill, Couch's Mill and Couches Mill over the years.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Couch research. Another 231 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1270, 1273, 1295, 1544, 1563, 1758 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Couch History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 21 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Couch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Couch family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 89 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Couch:

Couch Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Mathew Couch, who arrived in Virginia in 1636
  • John Couch, who landed in New England in 1652
  • Alexander Couch, who landed in Virginia in 1654
  • Ambrose Couch, who arrived in Maryland in 1662
  • Charles Couch, who landed in Virginia in 1666

Couch Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Sarah Couch, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Mr. Couch who settled in Louisiana in 1721
  • Joseph Couch, who arrived in New England in 1740
  • Elianore Couch landed in America in 1760
  • Arthur and Charles Couch settled in Maryland in 1774

Couch Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Couch, who landed in America in 1807
  • J P Couch, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • D. Couch settled in San Francisco, California in 1852
  • J Couch, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1858
  • George Couch, aged 26, arrived in New York in 1864

Couch Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • John Couch settled in Placentia, Newfoundland in 1794

Couch Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • William Highman Couch arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Waterloo" in 1840
  • Thomas Couch arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Theresa" in 1847
  • Peter Couch arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Royal George" in 1848
  • Henry Couch arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1849
  • William Couch, aged 19, a miner, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Burlington"

Couch Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Couch, aged 23, a carpenter, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • Jemima Couch, aged 19, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • William Couch, aged 23, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Accrington" in 1863
  • Tryphena Couch, aged 21, arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Accrington" in 1863


  • John Couch, American botanist
  • Virgil Couch, American diplomat
  • Darius Nash Couch (1822-1897), American soldier, businessman, and naturalist, general officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • John Heard Couch (1811-1870), American sea captain, pioneer in the Oregon Country, Treasurer for the Provisional Government of Oregon (1846-1847)
  • Timothy Scott "Tim" Couch (b. 1977), former American college and professional NFL football quarterback
  • Jason Couch (b. 1969), American professional bowler in the Professional Bowlers Association
  • Malcom Ollie "Mal" Couch Jr (b. 1938), American founder and president of the Tyndale Theological Seminary
  • Matthew Couch (b. 1974), English professional snooker player from Scunthorpe
  • Mr. Frank Couch (d. 1912), aged 28, English Able Seaman from Port Isaac, Cornwall who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Mr. Joseph Henry Couch (d. 1912), aged 45, English Greaser from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking



  • Sang Branch Settlers [including the couch Family]: Folksongs and Tales of a Kentucky Mountain Family by Leonard Roberts.

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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Couch Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Couch 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 27 October 2014 at 12:36.

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