This locational surname of several spellings, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and originates from a hamlet in Huntingdonshire, England. Recorded as "Covintune" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Couyngton" in the 1260 Assize Court Rolls, the component elements of the placename are the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Cofa", with "ing", people of, and "tun", enclosure, settlement; hence, "settlement of Cofa's people". This personal name also forms the first element of such places as Coveney in Cambridgeshire, and Coventry in Warwickshire. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their places of origin to settle elsewhere. Examples of authentic church recordings include on November 12th 1582, Margery Coventon and John Spratbye who were married at Christ Church, Greyfriars, Newgate, London, and on March 19th 1598, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Coventon, was christened at Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire. On April 14th 1691 Frances Covington married Edward Butchare at St James church, Dukes Place, London, whilst on November 13th 1699, George Covendon married Mary Frances at St Giles Cripplegate, London. The Coat of arms associated with the family surname has the blazon of a blue field charged with a silver fretty, a saltire parted of the last, between four gold estoiles. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Annes Coveington, which was dated August 30th 1565, christened at St. Paul's, Bedford, Bedfordshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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