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Newfoundland's South Coast - COX



This page is for listings of the surname COX, and people with research interest.

Bill Crant

Excerpt from Dr. Seary's, Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, MUN 1977.

COX, a surname of England and Ireland son of Cock. Reaney writes: "(i)... Cock, a common personal name still in use about 1500, may partly be from O[ld] E[nglish] Cocc or Cocca, found in place-names, although not on independent record. But as cock became a common term for a boy, it may also have been used affectionately as a personal name...(ii)...O[ld] E[nglish] cocc - cock, a nickname for one who strutted like a cock. This became a common term for a pert boy and was used of scullions, apprentices, servants, etc., and came to be attached to christian names as a pet diminutive (Simcock, Witcock, etc.).[Middle English] cok is ambiguous and may be for Cook. The surname may also mean "'watchman, leader' and, according to Welsh writers, may also be from Welsh, Cornish coch -red. (iii)...'Dweller by the hill', O[ld] E[nglish] cocc- 'haycock,.heap, hillock'. In London it probably derived from the sign of a house or inn. Occasionally we may have a M[iddle] E[nglish] cock - 'a small ship's boat'... a name for a boatman." Cottle also suggests "A surname in which many possibilities meet, mostly jests."(one of them ? obscene). MacLysaght notes that Mac Quilly, Mac an Choiligh, and Mac Gilly and Magilly, Mac Coiligh, ? Ir. coileach - cock, "have been ex-tensively changed to the English name Cox." See also COOK, COKE, COXON. (Reaney, Cottle, MacLysaght).

Guppy found Cox widespread throughout the South and Midlands of England. MacLyeaght found it in Cos. Roscommon and Monaghan.

In Newfoundland:

Family traditions: Elizabeth (1737-1827), of Grand Bank (MUN Hist.). Daniel Farthing, from England, settled at Grand Bank and changed his name to Cox, in the l9th century (MUN Hist.).

Early instances: Christopher, of Salvage, 1675 (CO 1); Richard, of Placentia, 1724-5 (CO 194.8); David, witness at St. John's, ? 1752 (CO 194. 13); Thomas, of Torbay, 1794-5, "40 years in Newfoundland", that is, 1754-5 (Census 1794-5); John, publican of St. John's, 1794-5, "30 years in Newfoundland", that is, 1764-5 (Census 1794-5); John, merchant of Harbour Grace, 1771 (Nfld. Archives L118); John, of Musketta (now Bristol's Hope), 1782 (CO 199.18); James, servant of Bay Bulls, 1786 (CO 194.36); George, apprentice of Battle Harbour (Labrador), 1795 (MUN Hist.); Cox and Bound, operators of salmon fishery at Round Harbour, 1804 (CO 194. 45); Joshua, of Bonavista, 1806 (DPHW 70); John, of Pouch Cove, 1814 (DPHW 26B); Joseph, of Old Perlican, 1820 (DPHW 58); John, mason of Carbonear, 1828 (DPHW 48); -----, of Greenspond, 1830 (Newfoundlander 7 Oct 1830); Benjamin, of Western Bay, 1830 (DPHW 52A); John, of Bay de l'Eau, 1835 (DPHW 30); James, from Bristol, of St. John's, died 1836, aged 32 (Times 23 Nov 1836); Elizabeth, of Kings Cove Parish, 1841 (Nfld. Archives KCRC); Frederick, of Upper Burgeo, 1842 (DPHW 101); John, of Leading Tickles, 1843 (DPHW 86); John R., of Burgeo Islands, 1843 (Newfoundlander 31 Aug 1843); John, of New Bay Head (Twillingate), 1845 (DPHW 86); William, of Gaultois, 1850 (DPHW 101); William,of Wreck Cove, 1855 (DPHW 104); John, of La Poile, 1860 (DPHW 99); widespread in Lovell 1871.

Modern status: Scattered, especially at Wreck Cove, Terrenceville and Bay Bulls Road (St. John's.).

Place names: Cox(es) Cove (Labrador) 52-59 55-47; Cox Head (Labrador) 53-09 55-45; ----- Hill (Labrador) 51-43 56-25, ----- Island (Labrador) 53-08 55-44, ----- Point 47-08 53-29; Cox(es) Cove Pond 52-59 55-48; Coxhill Cove and Point 47-18 53-55; Cox's Cove, ----- Brook, ----- Rock 47-07 58-04, ----- Cove 49-07 58-05, ----- Point 49-08 58-05.

Early Instances:

John B. (Benjamin) COX b. ? - d. ? m. Jane STRICKLAND b. ca. 1800 - d. Oct. 6, 1838. buried at Sandbanks Cemetery, Burgeo.



The entries have been supplied by various contributors.

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Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)

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