This interesting surname is one of a group which are local dialectal variants of the village name Coggeshall, in Essex or Cogshall in Cheshire. The earliest recordings favour the Essex parish (see below) although it is almost certain that some nameholders will derive from the northern village. Coggeshall (Essex) is first recorded in 1060 a.d. prior to the Norman Invasion. The name is Olde English and translates as "the place (halh) on the hill (cogg)". By the year 1200 the spelling had developed to Coggeshale, not so different from the modern form. Meanwhile the Cheshire Village is recorded in the Domesday Book (1086) as Cocheshalle, and Cogishull in 1289. Examples of the surname include John Coggeshall of Halstead, Essex, baptised on February 23rd 1571, Mary Cogshall, who married a Tom Cooper at Pritwell, Essex, on July 1st 1676, and Jane Cogswell, who married Henry Plante, at St James Church, Dukes Place, London on July 1st 1679. A later variant example is that of James Cogzell, a christening witness at Kinver, Staffordshire, on May 23rd 1858. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Choggeshala which was dated 1181, in the "pipe rolls of the county of Essex", 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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