Coffin - Surname Meaning

This surname is derived from a nickname. 'the bald.' A mere variation of Caffin, the earliest form being Chaufin, which would readily become Coffin and Caffin. This form seems to have taken root in the south-western counties of England. Edward Coffin, the Jesuit, was born at Exeter, 1571 (Dictionary of National Biography xi. 315). Several Devonshire families bear the name; cf. the Franchchauve, bald (v. Chaffe), and Calvin, from Latin calvus. Probably Chaufin was a dim. 'Calvus protests for foes he doth not care:

For why? They cannot take from him one hair.': Satyrical Epigrams, 1610.

Henry Coffyn, Somerset, 1 Edward III: Kirby's Quest.

Richard Chaufin, Nottinghamshire, 1273. Hundred Rolls.

Robert Coffyn, Lincolnshire, ibid.

William Coffyn, Devon, ibid.

Thomas Chafyn, 1505: Keg. Univ. Oxf.

1788. Married — Robert Gilbert and Mary Coflen: St. George, Hanover Square.

— — Thomas Coffin and Agatha Waterman: ibid.

1794. — John Chaffin and Isabella Blandell: ibid.

In France the enthusiastic devotion of Nicholas Chauvin to the emperor Napoleon I gave rise to the term Chauvinism. Chaufin was the Hundred Roll form; v. supra.

A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, written: 1872-1896 by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley

Local. Cyffin, in Welsh, signifies a boundary, a limit, a hill; cefyn, the ridge of a hill. This name has its origin from Co, high, exalted, and fin, a head, extremity, boundary. This family settled early in this country, on the sland of Nantucket, near Cape Cod, where the name is very common. The following humorous lines, descriptive of the characteristics of the different families residing on that island, were written by one Daniel Allen, a native of the island, more than a hundred years ago:

“The hasty Coffin, fractious, loud,

The silent Gardiner, plotting,

The Mitchells good, the Barkers proud,

The Macys eat the pudding;

The Bays and Russels coopers are,

The knowing Folger lazy,

A learned Coleman very rare,

And scarce an honest Hussey.”

An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names (1857) by William Arthur

The name of one or more medical men. Ferguson thinks this name may be corrupted from Kolfinn, from O. N. kollr, helmeted, and the proper name Finn; or that it was originally Coffing, a patronymic, formed from cóf, strenuous. Lower considers it the same as Colvin or Colvinus, who held lands in chief under the Confessor. It may also be the same with Caffin, from Fr. chauve, L. calvus, bald; whence Chauvin or Calvin. Coffin and Coffinhal, and Coffinieres or Couffin are found as French surnames, and there is a place called Couvin in Belgium, and Coffinswell is the name of a parish co. Devon.

Ludus Patronymicus (1868) by Richard Stephen Charnock

Amongst the old and distinguished knightly families now scantily represented in the county is that of Coffin. The principal stock, of which there were many branches, owned the manor of Alvington from the 12th to the 17th century (Pr.).

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain (1890) by Henry Brougham Guppy

This family possessed Alwington manor, co. Devon, temp. William Conq. and they still reside at Portledge in that manor. B.L.G. Colvin or Colvinus held lands in chief (probably the same) under Edward the Confessor.

Patronymica Britannica, written: 1838-1860 by Mark Antony Lower

Variants of this surname include: Caffyn & Chafen.

Coffin - Surname Distribution

Coffin Distribution in the United Kingdom in 1881

Hover over a county for more details.

No. of People

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* Statistics based on the 1881 census of the United Kingdom, Channel Islands & Isle of Man

Highest Incidence of Coffins in UK Counties and Dependencies

RankCountyNo. of People% of Region
1Hampshire1480.02
2Middlesex116-
3Dorset1160.06
4Somerset740.02
5Cheshire400.01
6Cornwall320.01
7Devon320.01
8Surrey30-
9Gloucestershire25-
10Shropshire140.01
11Essex14-
12Lancashire11-
13Sussex11-
14Yorkshire11-
15Kent10-
16Glamorganshire5-
17Channel Islands50.01
18Wiltshire5-
19Berkshire5-
20Denbighshire5-
21Staffordshire4-
22Lanarkshire4-
23Derbyshire3-
24Warwickshire3-
25Oxfordshire2-
26Monmouthshire1-
27Worcestershire1-
28Suffolk1-

Highest Incidence of Coffins in UK Settlements

RankSettlementNo. of People% of Settlement
1Manchester8-
2Lydlinch71.97
3St Pancras7-
4Cranborne70.30
5Wimborne St Giles71.55
6St Giles in the Fields70.02
7Great Canford60.08
8Wrexham40.02
9Greenwich2-
10Oxford20.01
11Wool10.20
12York1-
13Streatham1-
14Hampstead1-
15Alverstoke1-
16Walthamstow1-
17Leamington Spa1-
18Lancaster1-
19Moor Crichel10.27
20Charlton Horethorne10.21
21Ipswich1-
22Monkleigh10.19
23Boreham10.10
24Cookham10.01
25Chester1-
26Milford10.06
27Ealing1-
28Liverpool1-
29Rodborough10.04
30Breamore10.13
31Brighton1-
32Wokingham10.02
33Llandough-juxta-Cowbridge10.85
34Wandsworth1-
35Bideford10.02
36Woking10.01
37Littleham10.02
38Kingsdon10.28
39Kingston upon Hull1-
40Edmonton1-
41Kensington1-
42Corfe Castle10.06
43Chesterfield1-
44Newport1-
45Stapleford Abbotts10.20
46Chislehurst10.02
47Charlton Marshall10.15
48Baschurch10.06
49Clayton10.05
50Sandbach10.01
51Toxteth Park1-
52Wincanton10.04
53Leigh10.02
54Parkham10.12
55Stoke Damerel1-
56Midsomer Norton10.02
57Rotherhithe1-
58Maperton10.48
59Denbigh10.02
60Teignmouth10.01
61Portsmouth10.01
62Southwark1-
63Braunton10.05
64Sturminster Marshall10.12
65Poole10.01
66Paignton10.02
67Corfe Mullen10.14
68Clewer10.01

Coffin Distribution in Ireland in 1901

Hover over a county for more details.

No. of People

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* Statistics based on the 1901 census or Ireland

Highest Incidence of Coffins in Irish Counties

RankCountyNo. of People% of Region
1Cork3-
2Down2-

Highest Incidence of Coffins in Irish Settlements

RankSettlementNo. of People% of Settlement
1Cork2-
2Bangor20.02
3Kinsale10.02

Coffin Reference & Research

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