Recorded in many spellings as shown below, this most interesting and unusual surname is of pre 7th century English and Anglo-Saxon origins. It is locational and a derivative of Coggeshall, from the so named small town near Braintree in the county of Essex. This appears as Kockeshale, in the Anglo-Saxon Wills list of 1060, and as Coghessala and Cogheshala in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The placename itself is composed of the Olde English personal name "Cogg", of uncertain etymology, and the word "halh", meaning a secluded valley or hollow. The surnames from this source are known to include Coggeshall itself, which is now very rare and possibly extinct, and the slightly more usual but abreviated Cockshall, Cockshill, Coxall, Coxhell, Coxwell, Cogswell and others. Early examples of the surname include those of William de Choggeshala, in the Pipe Rolls of Essex in 1181; and Wlfgarus de Cokesale in the Court Rolls of the borough of Colchester in 1232. In the 14th century, several namebearers served as the sheriffs of Essex and Hertfordshire, whilst later the name was taken to America in 1632 by John Coggeshall, the first Governor of Rhode Island. 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 of England, 1135 - 1154. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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