This ancient and artistocratic English surname is locational, and from one of the several places called "Cove". It achieved early prominence in East Anglia, where the family held major estates throughout the medieval period. At the famous Dunstable Tournament in the year 1308, it is recorded that the first baron Sir John de Cove, bore arms as follows "Gules, a bend cotised Or. The surname is first recorded in the13th century in the midlands,although there seems little connection between Staffordshire and Norfolk. The meaning of the name is "shelter", and the origination is probably from the Latin "cooperio" - to cover. Almost all the languages of the "Dark Ages" used a similar term to describe a place of shelter, and this term could be applied to an anchorage, a covert of trees, or even a hollow in a hillside. There are several places called Cove in Scotland, although these do not seem to have produced surnames. The surname is also slightly confused by the introduction into England in the late 17th century of French Huguenot refugees. Here the spelling was originally recorded as Couve or Couves, although the meaning of "shelter" is the same. In some cases these people kept their original spelling but most became "Cove". Early examples of the surname recording include Sir Thomas de Cove of Norfolk in the year 1330, and his son Sir John de Cove of the same county, in the rolls known as "Feet of Fines" in the year 1386. The first recording of the surname is probably that of Ralph de Cove, of the county of Staffordshire in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307.
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