Last name: Coffin

Recorded in many forms including Caffin, Coffin, Caffyn, Chafen and Chaffin, this interesting name is English. It is however a Norman French introduction, after the 1066 Invasion, and is a medieval descriptive nickname. The original development is from "calrus" - a latin word meaning, "bald", through the later French, "chauf" plus the diminutive ending "-in" - a short form of kin. This gives a meaning 'The son of the Bald One'. The name development has included: Henry Coffyn of Somerset in the year 1273, Richard Caffyn in the Pipe Rolls of Sussex for 1327, and later Thomas Chafyn, in the Register of Oxford University in 1505. In 1788 Thomas Coffin married Agatha Waterman at St George's Chapel, Hanover Square, London, whilst in 1794 John Caffin and Isabella Blandell, were married at the same place. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Richard Chaufin. This was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls" of the city of Nottingham, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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