Recorded in many forms including Coit, Coite, Coyte, Coyett, Coytes, Quoit and Quoite, this is an English surname. Its origin however is very obscure. We believe that it is probably from an Olde English pre 7th century personal name "Coyt" meaning rounded, and one possibly used as a nickname, or it may have some sporting connection. The game of quoits involves throwing a ring of rope or iron over a peg, and this is one of the most ancient games known, one whose origins lies in the mists of time. It is very possible that there is some association between the game and this surname, although precisely what this is, is certainly open to conjecture. It is very surprising that the surname does not appear in any of the well known research books on surnames, as it has been well recorded since at least the times of King Henry V111, (1510 - 1547). This suggests that either all these eminent researchers over the past three centuries have missed it, which seems very unlikely, or for whatever reason they have been uncertain, and have preferred to keep their findings to themselves. Early examples of the surname recording include: Alys Coyte who married Thomas Nuttall at the church of St Michael Bassishaw in the city of London on August 16th 1546, and Sarah Coit, who married John Nichols at Charterhouse Chapel, Finsbury, on June 16th 1696.
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