This very interesting surname is recorded in many spelling forms including Coathup, Coathrup, Cothup, Gothup, Gothrup, Gowthrop, Gautherup, Gawthrop and Gawthorpe. It is late medieval English, and locational. It originates from any of the three places in Yorkshire called Gawthorpe and Gawthrop, in the former West Riding region. These names are believed to have Norse-Viking 8th century origins, and to derive from the words "gaukr" meaning a cuckoo (bird), and "torp", an outlying farm or hamlet. This is one separated by three miles, from the main manor house.The Gawthorpe village near Huddersfield is three miles south of that town. In the 1274 Court Roles of Wakefield, the "capital" of the West Riding, the place is recorded as Goukethorp, and later in 1297 as Goutthorp. During the Middle Ages migration for the purpose of seeking work became more common place. These people often took or being given, as their surname, the name of their former home village. Spelling and writing generally being at best problematical, and local dialects being very "thick", lead to the increasing distortion of the original name. Recordings taken from early surviving church registers include such examples as Agnes Gawthorpe, who married Georgius Swifte at Sheffield, on January 27th 1563, and James Golthrop, who married Elizabeth Hampin at St Lukes church, Chelsea, on January 27th 1796. The first recorded spelling of the name may be that of Jane Galthorpe of Rotherham, on August 15th 1540. This was during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1510 - 1547.
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