This interesting surname recorded in many forms including Coathrup, Cothrup, Gothrop, Goathrop, Gautherup, Gothrup, Gouthorpe, and many other spellings is of 8th century Norse Viking origin. It is a locational name from one of three places called Gawthorpe, Gawthorp, or Gawthrop, all in the former West Riding of Yorkshire. Gawthorpe near Dewsbury, is recorded as "Goukethorpe" in the 1274 Wakefield Court Rolls, and Gawthorp near Huddersfield is recorded as "Goutthorp" in the 1297 Subsidy Rolls. Gawthrop near Settle was known as Golthrop in the 14th century. The derivation of the placename is from "gaukr", meaning cuckoo, and "thorp", enclosure, hamlet, village; hence, "village where cuckoo's frequented". 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 in Sheffield, on January 27th 1563, and that of James Gothrop, who married Elizabeth Hampin at St Lukes church, Chelsea, on May 27th 1796. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Jane Galthorpe, which was dated August 15th 1540, at Rotherham, in Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547.
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