This is an occupational surname of Olde English origins. However unlike the surname 'Fish(er)' it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with fishing or the sea, almost the reverse. It derives from the pre 7th century word 'code' which was the name of a particular wax used in the manufacture of leather goods. In effect 'Codman' like 'Codd, Coade, Code, and Coade' describes a leather manufacturer, or possibly of something specific like saddlery or shoes. The suffix 'man(n)' may be a reference to a friend of 'Code' or it may refer to a senior servant of 'Code', in modern parlance the 'General Manager' of Code's business. Alanus filius Chod is recorded in Lincoln in 1150 (Alan, the son of Code), but this is not hereditary, although Osbert Cod of Winton in Hampshire in 1170 maybe. William Codeman is recorded in Cambridge in 1327, whilst Robert Codman is recorded in the Sussex county rolls of 1524. The coat of arms has the blazon of a silver field, a red chevron between three Cornish Choughs (ravens). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Chode, which was dated 1182, in the pipe rolls of the county of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'the church builder, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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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