Show ContentsCouche History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Couche 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 Couche 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. [1]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.

Alternatively, the name could have been "a Cornish form of Cooch [Welsh coch, red]." [2]

Early Origins of the Couche family

The surname Couche was 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.

However, we must look to Sussex to find the earliest record of the family. It is there that John le Cochere was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Later the Corpus Christi Guild (Surtees Society) in Yorkshire had these interesting entries confirming the occupational etymology: William Cawoou, cowcher, Yorkshire, 1443; and Robert Bell, cowcher, Yorkshire, 1442. [3]

In Cornwall, "the manor of Luxulian, which was in the family of Couch so early as the reign of James I. was sold to the Rashleigh family in the days of Charles I." [4]

Early History of the Couche family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Couche research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1270, 1273, 1295, 1544, 1563, 1758 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Couche History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Couche Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Couche family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Couche family to Ireland

Some of the Couche family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canada Couche migration to Canada +

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

Couche Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Henry Couche, his wife Susanna, and six children settled in Quebec, Canada, in 1825

Contemporary Notables of the name Couche (post 1700) +

  • William Couche (1732-1753), English scholastic of the Society of Jesus, eldest son of William Couche of Tolfrey, near Fowey, Cornwall [5]

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  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. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook