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About the study
CODE is one of the 20 oldest surnames continually resident in Cornwall, dating back to at least 1347.
The variant COAD appeared for the first time around 1600, just SE of Exeter in Devon. Prior to this it was spelt CODE or COODE, but within 30 years it had spread across Devon and Cornwall, replacing almost all similar names except the single line of educated Coodes of Breage. The variant has remained popular with name changers - most COADs and CODEs in America changed their name soon after arrival from the Irish CODD; while in England in the 1800s about 20 families changed their name to COAD or COOD (mostly CODDs around London).
History of the name
* Richard Code, of royal descent, richest man in the Hundred of East and Royal Tax Collector, 1500 Cornwall
* Eleanor Coade, Britain's most successful artist/businesswoman, inventor of Coade stone.
* Four of her uncles, mayors of Lyme Regis, Dorset in the 1700s
* John Coad, exiled to Barbados for his part in the Monmouth Rebellion 1685
* Robert Coad of Truro, convict transported for inciting a friend to steal a bag of coal, many descendants in Australia
* Robert Coad of Liskeard, architect, remodelled Lanhydrock House
* Sapper John Coade of Korumburra, twice decorated in the Great War
* Basil Aubrey Coad, commander of the Commonwealth forces in the Korean War.
* Dorothy Coade Hewett, Australian poet and playwright of distinction
* Rev Col John Coode, controversial governor of Maryland 1690
* Four Coodes, bankers and attorneys of St Austell, who held the title of Clerk of the Peace, Treasurer or (Under) Sheriff of Cornwall in the 1800s and who effectively executed the local government of Cornwall during the 19th century,.
* Sir John Coode, most famous marine engineer of his era
* Six other Coodes holding knighthoods or senior naval or military rank.
Distribution of the name
The CoadCoode Y-DNA project has been operating since November 2006 and has been vital in determining the true structure of the surname. There are three unrelated families
- A family of Germanic descent from Devon and in central Cornwall
- a family of Celtic descent from Liskeard, now around Truro, St Austell and the Devon border
- a likely distaff line, located in Looe and Crowan