This is an English surname although of pre 8th century Danish-Viking origins. It is locational and recorded in many forms including Gawthrop, Gawthorpe, Gaythorpe, Gautherop, Coathrup, Cothrup, Gothrop, Goathrop, Gothrup, Gowthorp,Gouthorpe and pssobly others. There are several places called Gawthorpe, Gawthorp, or Gawthrop, in the county of Yorkshire, and two 'lost' villages being Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire, and Gawthorpe Hall in Norfolk. All could have given rise to the surnames. Gawthorpe near Dewsbury, is recorded as Goukethorpe in the Wakefield Court Rolls of 1274, Gawthorpe near Pocklington in East Yorkshire as Golthrop, in the Feudal Rolls of 1314, and Gawthorp near Huddersfield recorded as Goutthorp in the Subsidy Rolls of 1297. Gawthrop near Settle was known as Golthrop in the 14th century. It is possible that all have the same meaning of 'Cookoo Farm' from the Olde Danish 'gaukr' meaning cuckoo, and 'torp', an enclosure or farm. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification. Spelling and writing being at best problematical resulted in both a wide dispersal of the name, and the development of many forms, some far removed from the original name. Recordings of the surname from church registers include the marriage of the marriage of Agnes Gawthorpe to Georgius Swifte at Sheffield, on January 27th 1563, that of John Gowthorp, a christening witness at Howden in East Yorkshire, on March 11th 1594, and John Gaythrop who married Mary Hall, at St Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London, on May 4th 1840..
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