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Surname Coe - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'C'

Decoding Surname 'Coe': An insightful journey through the lens of iGENEA's DNA Test

Venturing into a journey of self-discovery, I explored my roots using iGENEA's DNA testing. The test offered insights into the origin, migration, and relatives connected to the surname Coe, enhancing my understanding of my ancestry in a technical yet profoundly human way.

J. Coe

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Coe: What does the surname Coe mean?

The surname Coe is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from the old English personal name Coel, Koli or Nicholas. It is believed to be associated with the pre 7th century Olde English name Cola, meaning "Charcoal", which was given to a person with a swarthy, dark complexion or dark hair. It was also found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Over time, the name underwent various transformations and acquired distinctive forms in different regions. The surname represents a significant migration of people across regions and countries such as England, Ireland, Scotland, and the United States, thereby indicating the spread of families over time. Like most surnames, Coe is subjected to several interpretations and spellings, thereby having several derivatives. As such, it offers a cumulative glimpse into the historical, social and familial lineage, rooted in a bygone era.

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Coe: Where does the name Coe come from?

The surname Coe is of English origin and it is derived from a medieval nickname 'cowa', which means 'jackdaw', a species of bird. This was used as a nickname for someone who was believed to bear a fancied resemblance to the bird or to resemble its characteristics. Sometimes, the name may also derive from the Old English personal name 'Coel', famously borne by a semi-legendary king of Britain.

The last name Coe is common in England and the United States. It is quite prevalent in the regions of East Anglia and Lincolnshire in England. In the United States, the surname is most commonly found in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. It's also often seen in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Regardless of the region, it's noteworthy that frequencies of the Coe surname vary, and it is not amongst the most common surnames.

In modern times, the Coe name is often associated with Sebastian Coe, a former English track and field athlete, who won four Olympic medals and set eight world records in middle-distance running events.

Variations of the surname Coe

The surname Coe originates from the early medieval English period and has various spellings and related surnames. Variants of this surname include Co, Coa, and Cowe. It may be derived from a nickname for a frisky person, from the Middle English term "coe" which means a young cow or bull. In some cases, the surname may have originated from a location. For instance, it could come from "at the co(e)", a place where cows were kept.

There are also several similar surnames that originate from the same root or have developed from Coe. This includes English surnames like Cow, Cowe, and Cowie. These names were also often used as a term of endearment.

Similarly, the surname Coe has evolved to form other surnames such as Coey, Couey, and Cooey in Ireland. These arose due to different phonetic interpretations and spellings over time and across different regions.

However, it's important to note that the origins and variants of a surname can vary widely due to factors such as migration and regional dialects. Many may have multiple meanings and origins. Therefore, genealogical or etymological research may be beneficial for obtaining accurate information.

Famous people with the name Coe

  • Sebastian Coe: A former British middle-distance runner, Coe won four Olympic medals and set eight world records. Later, he became a member of the UK parliament and currently serves as the president of World Athletics.
  • David Allan Coe: An American singer-songwriter, known for his influential work in the Outlaw country music genre.
  • Jonathan Coe: A British novelist and author, best known for his satirical novels such as "What a Carve Up!" and "The Rotters' Club".
  • Percy Coe: A New Zealand rugby union player who represented the All Blacks during the early 20th century.
  • William R. Coe: An American railroad executive and philanthropist who funded the establishment of the Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park.
  • Peter Coe: A British athletics coach and father of Sebastian Coe. He guided his son to achieve multiple Olympic medals and world records.
  • Amanda Coe: A British screenwriter and novelist known for her work on series like "Shameless" and "Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story".
  • Isaac Smith Coe: An American pioneer of the Oregon Territory, a Union soldier in the American Civil War, and author of "A Hero of the Civil War".
  • Sally Coe: A contemporary American photographer known for her natural light photography.

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