Cokayne (Cockayne) Family History

This website presents a study of the Cokayne (or Cockayne) family – it is not complete and we cannot guarantee that it is entirely error free. As in all genealogical studies there remain many uncertainties and we are always looking for new information (or corrections to existing information). If you would like to contribute to this website then please contact us.

We are grateful to members of the Derbyshire Family History Society, members of the extended family, staff at the Derbyshire Records Office, Mr Peter Cholerton, Dr A Crossley, Mrs J Weaver and the Cockayne Historic Preservation Committee for their generous help.


ADDED - a short stemma including Cockayne generations in Glossop, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Cheshire (Dec 2011)

FLICKR - group dedicted to Cokayne/ Cockayne photographs created to help share record images relating to the Cokayne family (April 2011)

ADDED - more Sheffield information, including a stemma originating with Peter Cockayne 1747 (May 2010)

UPDATED - records from 1560-1812 from the St. Peter's Church (Cathedral), Sheffield added to the Cokayne births and baptisms database (Feb 2010)

Introducing the Cokayne or Cockayne Family

The origins of the family are probably Normandy, but the name Cokayne is probably of Frankish (Germanic) origin. There are many variations of the name in historical record, but the commonest forms today are Cockayne and Cokayne. It is uncertain whether the first Cokayne to arrive in Britain was part of William the Conqueror’s armies, but the first certain record of the name is from 1150 in the small town of Ashbourne, Derbyshire. From these origins the family spread into other parts of Derbyshire and beyond to London, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, other parts of Great Britain and abroad. 

The early history of the Cokayne family is documented in the Cockayne Memoranda, edited by Andreas Edward Cockayne and published in two parts in 1869 & 1873 (denoted by the acronym AECM). It includes details of some branches of the family up to the early 1870s and is an invaluable, but rare, resource. Wills of some of the earlier Cokaynes add context to AECM, some of which have been transcribed (e.g. in Derbyshire Wills by D. G. Edwards).

There are several branches of the family and we hope to represent all of them on this website over time, but more research is needed.

Principal Branches of the Cokayne Family