Recorded in many spellings including Coverley, Coverly, Coverlyn, Coveley, Covely, Covley, Covly, and no doubt others, this an English medieval surname. Famous for many years because of the now sadly forgotten dance known as the "Sir Roger de Coverley," it is locational from a village which presumably was spelt in one of the surname forms. However no such place now exists or anything near it, in the gazetters of the British Isles for at least the past three centuries. This is not entirely unusual. It is estimated that around five thousand British surnames do originate from now "lost" medieval villages, of which the surname is often the only tangible surviving memory. A coat of arms was granted to the Coveleys of Hampshire, although the date is not known. The blazon is that of a red shield charged with a fesse between three helmets, all silver. On this basis it may suggest that the surname does originate from the Hampshire region, but we have not been able to confirm this from known records. In Olde English a "cofa" (cove) had the meaning of a recess or valley amongst hills, rather than being associated with the coast as is the case today. This suggests the place name means "The farm (leah) in a cove or valley", a description which could be anywhere! In the surviving church registers of the city of London early recordings include Thomas Coveley, who married Martha Finch at St Brides Fleet Street, on August 12th 1655, whilst Edmund Coverley married Mary Watson at St Mary Aldermary, on January 15th 1603, in the very last days of the reign of the famous Queen Elizabeth 1st. She died on March 23rd of that year.
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