Earliest Cape Cod Surnames
All anybody had or needed in the way of a name for thousands of years was simply a first name. The nearest thing to "surnames" in ancient times existed among the Romans: a second name was sometimes added to indicate the family to which a child belonged. Later, even a third name was added which was a descriptive nickname. It is said that modern European surnames are of four basic types: 1) place names like HEATH (which in England meant one who came from a wasteland with low shrubs 2) patronyms like FITZROY (Norman, meaning "illegetimate son of the king") 3) occupational names like SMITH and TAYLOR and 4) descriptive names like GREENE.
The nobles and upper classes in England had little difficulty in choosing to take on the name of the lands they owned as surnames. But this left out of the loop those folk who did not own property but merely "rented". A Robert or Leofric finally needed to be set apart somehow one from another, for many reasons. One of the first distinctions made between them was that made by the clerks of the manors who had to differentiate which Robert or Leofric paid which fines and assessments to the Lord of the Manor. So, the clerks added short descriptions of their own making to the firstnames in order to identify them properly. These descriptive second names were allocated according to the clerk's own personal view of the person. Thus, these very earliest bynames or surnames were not necessarily names which reflected accurate personal traits.
Patrilineally transmitted surnames were not used on a large scale until about 1400 although surnames had been used by the nobles since the Norman conquest in 1066.
EARLIEST SETTLERS OF SANDWICH,YARMOUTH, BARNSTABLE,HARWICH, CHATHAM
List of original "Purchasers" who were granted Cape Cod land but may not have settled on the Cape themselves:
By 1637 ten male surnames had settled in Sandwich:
ALMY,TUPPER and KNOTT.
They and their families had come from Saugus over old deer and Indian
trails, mostly on foot through dense forests. However, heavier loads
were brought by sea into a small inlet now known as Scusset
Creek. These surnames were joined fairly soon by several dozen other
WRIGHT,MILLER,LAUNDER,BOARDMAN,WADE,JOYCE and BLAKEMORE.
The following male surnames were soon added:
SMALL,TOMLON,STEWART,HALL,HEDGE,HEDGIS,PADDOCK,SEARS and TUCKER.
Early Yarmouth surnames: BOURNE, THATCHER,CROW,HOWES,
ALDEN,WINSLON AND NORTHCOTE.
Early Barnstable surnames: ANNABLE,BACON,BACHILER,BASSETT,
LOMBARD,MARSTON,MAYO,OTIS,PHINNEY,ROBINSON,SCUDDER and SMITH.
NAWSETT or EASTHAM
"In the year 1644 The Court doth grant unto the church of New
Plymouth or those that goe to dwell at Nausett all that tractt
of land lying between sea & sea from the purchasers bounds at
Namseakett to the hearing brooke att Billingsgate with the saide
hearing brooke & all the Medows on both side the saide brooke
with the greatt basse pond these & all the Medows & Islands
lying within saide tractt. Nathaniel Morton,Secretary of the Court."
This grant came about as the result of the realization on the part
of the church of Plymouth that it was situated on "one of the
most barren parts of New England." It was concluded that "the
whole body of the church at Plymouth should not remove from Plymouth
but liberty was given to those who so desired." Consequently seven
men became the first settlers in April 1644. They were Thomas PRINCE,
John DOANE, Nicholas SNOW, Josias COOK, Richard HIGGINS, John SMALLEY
and Edward BANGS. In 1651 the Colony Court decreed the town
be known henceforth as Eastham. The surnames MAYO, CROSBY,FREEMAN,
HARDING, ROGERS, GODFREY, BROWN, ATWOOD, SMITH, COLE, SPARROW,
HOPKINS, COBB, CRISP, MYRICK, WALKER, TWINING, AKINS, YOUNG, KNOWLES,
NEWCOMB, PAINE, COLLINS, LINNELL,PEPPER, NICKERSON, WITHERELL,
DYER, WARD, HERD, HATCH, HORTON were added by the end of the 1600s
along with several others.
CHATHAM's EARLIEST SURNAMES
Chatham was settled by the inlaws and other relatives of NICKERSON:
it was really little more than a "Nickerson Neighborhood" as W C
Smith referred to it. By June of 1690 it was still one of the
smallest places in the colony. The Indians still owned some of the
land there but the land was ultimately acquired by Nickerson,
one way or another, from them!
Surnames included: SMITH,HAMILTON,CAHOON,COVELL,ELDREDGE,GODFREY,
STEWART,JOHNSON,MAKER,PADDOCK and MELVILLE.
PUBLICATIONS USED INCLUDE: CAPE COD LIBRARY OF LOCAL HISTORY AND GENEALOGY COMPILED AND INDEXED BY LEONARD H. SMITH JR,.C.G. VOLS 1 AND 2
GENEALOGICAL PUBLISHING CO 1992 ISBN 0-8063-1324-2///
GENEALOGICAL NOTES OF BARNSTABLE FAMILIES BEING A REPRINT OF THE AMOS OTIS PAPERS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN "THE BARNSTABLE PATRIOT" REVISED BY C.F SWIFT. VOLS 1 AND 2///
A HISTORY OF CHATHAM MASSACHUSETTS FORMERLY THE CONSTABLEWICK OR VILLAGE OF MONOMOIT WITH MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS AND NUMEROUS GENEALOGICAL NOTES BY WILLIAM C. SMITH
ISBN 0-940160-06-4 PUBLISHED BY THE CHATHAM HISTORICAL SOCIETY 1981///
A HISTORY OF HARWICH BARNSTABLE COUNTY MASSACHUSETTS 1620-1800 INCLUDING THE EARLY HISTORY OF THAT PART NOW BREWSTER
WITH SOME ACCOUNT OF ITS INDIAN INHABITANTS BY JOSIAH PAINE TUTTLE PUBLISHING COMPANY 1737///HISTORY OF OLD YARMOUTH COMPRISING THE PRESENT TOWNS OF YARMOUTH AND DENNIS FROM THE SETTLEMENT TO THE DIVISION IN 1794 WITH THE HISTORY OF BOTH TOWNS TO 1876 BY CHARLES F. SWIFT EDITED BY CHARLES A. HOLBROOK,JR PUBLISHED BY THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF OLD YARMOUTH 1975
(old Libr Cong #75-5142)///A COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY OF EASTHAM, WELLFLEET AND ORLEANS BY THE REV ENOCH PRATT 1844