This most interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a topographical name for a dweller by or in a small cottage, from the Middle English word "cosche, cosshe", a small cottage, hut, hovel. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, as both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing surnames in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname may also be found in the modern idiom as Cosh and Coyish. It first appears in records in the mid 13th Century (see below), and other early examples of the surname include: Roger de Coyssh, recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex (1296); Robert Cosh in Leicestershire, circa 1272, in "A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds"; and Philip atte Cossh, mentioned in the Subsidy Rolls of Essex (1327). Obadiah Coyshe, son of Richard Coyshe, was christened on May 9th 1605 at St. Mary's Aldermary, London, and John Coysh was christened on April 26th 1634, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Lucas de la Kosche, which was dated 1248, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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