This interesting name is a dialectual variant of the locational name Coggeshall in Essex, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name 'cogg' (of uncertain origin) and the Olde English 'halh', recess. In the modern idiom the variants include Cogswell, Coxall. During the middle ages when migration from the country to town gained popularity, people adopted the place name as a means of identifcation thus dispersing locational names throughout Britain. An early example of the name recorded in St. Benets, Pauls Wharf, London was the marriage between one John Coxwell and Elizabeth Tortee in 1619. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Thomas Coggeshall, which was dated 1149, Coggeshall, Essex, during the reign of King Stephen, 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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