This name COAD is of two-fold origin. It was a locational name 'of Coad' a now extinct small spot in Cornwall. It has always been a Cornish name. Cornish naming practices are unfortunately poorly documented for the Middle Ages, but present day Cornish surnames, somewhat surprisingly, do not follow the predominantly patronymic pattern of the other Celtic languages, including Welsh. This may be attributed to the greater influence of the English bureaucracy and English naming practices in Cornwall than in Wales at the time when surnames came into use. The majority of Cornish names are habitation names and others are derived from medieval given names. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Almost every city, town or village existing in the Middle Ages has served to name one or more families. Where a man lived was his means of identification. When a man left his birthplace or village where he had been known, and went elsewhere, people would likely refer to him by the name of his former residence or birthplace, or by the name of the land which he owned. The name was also a baptismal name 'the son of Cuthbert'. Early records of the name mention Henry Cod, who was recorded in the year 1273, and Ricardus Code of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379.
Later instances of the name include Thomas Codde who was documented in Norwich in the year 1558, and David Codd and Margaret Asheley were married in London in the year 1586. James Benson wed Eleanor Cod at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1765, and Richard, son of Robert Code who was baptised at St. Columb, Major, Cornwall in 1658. Emery Codd and Mary Carley were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1777.
Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
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