This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a variant of "Coggeshall", a locational name from a place so called near Braintree in Essex, which appears as "Kockeshale", circa 1060 in the Anglo-Saxon Wills, and as "Coghessala, Cogheshala" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The placename itself is composed of the Olde English personal name "Cogg", of uncertain etymology, and the Olde English "halh", a recess, nook, hollow. Other surnames from this source include Coggeshall, Coxwell and Cogswell. The first recorded bearer of the name (see below) lived at Coggeshall in the mid 12th Century. Other examples of the surname include William de Choggeshala, in 1181 in the Pipe Rolls of Essex; and Wlfgarus de Cokesale in the Court Rolls of the Borough of Colchester in 1232. In the 13th and 14th Centuries, various namebearers served as sheriffs of Essex and Hertfordshire, while the name was taken to America in 1632 by John Coggeshall, the first Governor of Rhode Island. Grace, daughter of Peter Coxall, was christened on February 28th 1618, at Copford, in Essex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Thomas Coggeshall, which was dated 1149, in the "Pipe Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Stephen, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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