by him as result of circumstances peculiar to his life as a resident of Beverly,
1698-1720(1). Accordingly between our genealogical family and any other
bearing the surname Cody, there can be no assumption of genealogical
relationship on the basis of the fact that both bear the surname Cody.
In the course of our genealogical inquiry to discover descendants of our
immigrant ancestor Philip, we learned there are many Americans bearing
the surname Cody,
who by the above and other tests, are not genealogically
related to our Cody family. Some of these were themselves immigrants, others
had but a few generations(2) of American ancestry, and there were many whose
American ancestry began prior to the American Revolution. A large number
of the latter we found residing in the southern states (3). These southern
Codys for the most part claimed a common immigrant ancestor whose given
name was James and who was known to have inherited the surname Cody
from Irish ancestry who had borne it for several generations. The date of his
coming from Ireland was given as about 1743, and that upon his arriva1 he
settled in the south, at first in Virginia and later in Georgia. The genealogist
of this Cody
family(4) reported that the origin of their surname had been traced
to a member of the L’ercedekne Sept in Ireland, whose given name was Odo,
and whose son took MacOdo as a surname, and that his descendants in time,
probably by the early part of the seventeenth century shortened this to Codo
which soon became Cody.
Here then we have an origin of the use of Cody
a surname that is as unique as that of our family’s use of it.
This southern Cody
family claims a coat-of-arms(5), which of course no one
can claim who is not a descendant of the Odo
branch of the L’ercedekne family.
That not all Irish who bear the surname Cody
can claim this Odo
the origin of their use of the name is evidenced not only by the fact that the
is quite common in Ireland, but more especially by the fact that
the name is found in records of a date considerably earlier than the seventeenth
century when, as above noted, it was first found in records of the L’ercedekne
family. And not only in earlier Irish records is the name found, but also in
English records of even an earlier date(6).
For the origin of these early uses of the name and to account for its
quite common use in Ireland and in some sections of England, various
assumptions have been made by students of surnames. Of these assumptions
there seems the fairly reasonable one that since the essential syllable Cod
of this surname is that of many other surnames, it may at one time have
served to describe the marked appearance or behavior of certain individuals
whose descendants claiming it for themselves thereupon made use of it in
combination with some other word when circumstances came to demand
that, they have a surname as well as a given name. And some of these
may easily have taken the simple.form Cod-y.
Also there seems the reasonable
chance, as some writers on surnames suggest, that so short a name as
may have been an abbreviation for a given name difficult to pronounce by
children, and that those thus nick-named came in time to assume this for
a surname which then became that of their descendants. In the light of these
various assumptions of possible origin of this surname, there reasonably may
be many genealogically un-related families which have the surname Cody.
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