My Cawthorn Family


        My maiden name was CAWTHORN and my family come from Christchurch in Cambridgeshire, U.K. 
        (the top end, the Isle of Ely). 

        But the name CAWTHORN originates from Yorkshire, belonging to that group of surnames derived 
        from where a man once lived or where he held land. In this case the the surname comes from the Old English 
        "cald thorn" meaning "cold or exposed thornbush" and the original bearer would have resided near such
        a spot.

        This is also the name of two villages in Yorkshire.  Cawthorn in the old North Riding and Cawthorne in 
        the West Riding, so it is more than likely that the bearer was a "dweller in Cawthorne". This village 
        was documented in the Domesday Book of 1066 as "Caltorne" and was a manor amongst the lands of Ilbert de Lacey.

        On the North York Moors, you can still visit the Roman Camps of Cawthorn, so we've been around for some time!

        The present day centres of distribution are still in Yorkshire and the North-East;
        South & West Cambridgshire, the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk borders, and Lincolnshire.

So far, I've traced my CAWTHORN line back to the late 1600s in Emneth, Norfolk. For almost 100 years, their names are in the Emneth Parish Registers, held at the Fenland Museum, Wisbech. I feel our branch of the family has come down through Lincolnshire to the Cambridgeshire Fens. In the early 1800s, they were in Upwell, Cambridgeshire, but by the middle 1800s had begun moving south to Christchurch - or Brimstone Hill as it was then known; or just Upwell Fen! Only by using the U.K. Census Records, Kelly's Directories for Cambridgeshire and the GRO National Indexes for Births, Deaths & Marriages, have I been able to find out so much in so little time - and most of the information, particularly from the Census records came via the English Fens Mailing List - from correspondents in Britsh Columbia, California and Australia!
My paternal Grandfather,Walter CAWTHORN married Grace Scott, in November, 1914. I am named after Rachel Ann Russell who married Walter's father, John, in 1889. John's father, George, married Hannah Berry, daughter of John & Tansley BERRY in 1866. When I began my research the above is all I knew about Dad's family. George died in 1915, aged 79, and Hannah died in 1908, aged 76. They were the 2nd & 3rd CAWTHORN graves in Christchurch churchyard; the 1st being their grand-daughter, Kate, who died at a month old in May 1900. We thought at first that there must be a link with the CAWTHORNs of Chatteris, particularly as there were so many listed on the IGI website. Once I had made contact with Bethel in Australia, and joined the English Fens Mailing List, pieces of the jig-saw began slotting into place. We discovered the parents' names of Bethel's Gt Grandfather, Fred CAWTHORN:- they were William Walton & Anne TROWER - from the On-line Victorian State Archives! (Fred had taken 3 generations of his family out to Australia in about 1910.) I was sent details of the 1851 Census for Upwell, Cambs, and there was Gt Gt Grandfather George with his parents, Joseph & Hannah; but he also had a brother, William and a sister, Ann as well! Joseph was the Innkeeper at "The Chequers", Lott's Bridge.

April 2000- After 2 days checking the Parish Registers of Upwell & Emneth at the Fenland Museum, Wisbech; and the Christchurch & Chatteris registers at Cambridgeshire Record Office at the Shire Hall in Cambridge, I discovered that my CAWTHORNs have nothing to do with the Chatteris ones. We orignate from Emneth, a Norfolk village SE of Wisbech. The registers record CAWTHORN baptisms, marriages and burials back to the very early 1700's.

To view my CAWTHORN Family Tree, visit the following pages: John CAWTHORN & Martha HUNTER - Two Weddings, 2 Churches, same names, BUT 13 years apart! John & Sarah John Cawthorn once lost, but now found. Mary Joseph & Hannah WALTON William Walton & Anne TROWER Three Holes Methodist Chapel - William Walton Cawthorn bought the original building [a navvies hostel] to turn into a Methodist Chapel in 1855. William Matthew & Harriet BATES Agnes Harriet Fred & Mary Jane PHILLIPS Delve Mill, Chatteris, owned by Fred prior to emigration to Australia in 1911. Fred & Louisa ANGOOD William Walton & Eliza Jane MEANS Rebecca Ann & John Thomas FORTH George & Hannah BERRY Hannah's parents:Tansley RUST & John BERRY John & Rachel Ann RUSSELL Walter Russell & Grace SCOTT - my Grandparents. Funeral of Mr. Walter Russell Cawthorn on Friday, September 2nd 1966 at Christchurch Methodist Church George Berry & Sarah ROE William Rust & Sarah GOODGER Ann & George BUTTER Hannah Ann & Herbert FRANKLIN Thomas & Jane BARLEY Photo tribute to my Aunt Ruby & Uncles Hugh & Eric CAWTHORN
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This page created 28 August 2000 & amended/updated 12:55 02/05/2020