This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name either from Cawthorn, a parish north west of Pickering in the north riding of Yorkshire where traces of Roman camps remain, or from the parish and village of Cawthorne near Barnsley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Both places were recorded as "Caltorn" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Calthorn" in Yorkshire Charters, dated 1125 to 1176, and are believed to be so called from the Olde English pre7th Century "cald", cold, ( with reference to the bare, exposed position of the places ), and "thorn", thorn-bush, hence, "the bare place of the thorn-bushes".Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the Lord of the Manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. The surname is particularly well recorded in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire, and examples include: Robert de Cawthorne and Johannes de Cauthorn. On September 19th 1547 Richard Cawthorne and Helena Dicson were married in Halifax, Yorkshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the Cawthorne family of Yorkshire is a silver shield with five gold crosses patonce on a black saltire, the Crest being an arm embowed proper holding a gold cross patonce. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Calthorn, which was dated 1175, in the "Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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