There are many places named Covington in the United
States of America, all are said to have derived from the personal name.
Most of which seem to be named after Leonard Covington (1768-1820), an
American Army Officer who served under George Washington. A detailed
personal history of this major influence on the Covington name is included
in the Covington Database.
Places named Covington in U.S.A. are located in
the following States ;
California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan,
Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,
Texas & Virginia.
Visit the Covington Places Section to read all geographical
& historical snippets for these places
The Covington family name is much more popular in the
U.S. so it is not too surprising that the American people seem to have no
trouble in pronouncing it properly. An American Covington may have attained
his name in one of three ways, these being;
is a direct descendant of a British Covington, who emigrated or was
transported as a convict to the U.S. during the 18th century.
could have taken the name from the Covington town, or county, in which he
lived. In a similar way to that as the British Covingtons originally took
could have taken his name from the personal name of the estate or
plantation on which he worked, probably as a slave in such places as
Alabama and Mississippi.
Many black Covingtons can be found in the U.S. and
points 2 and 3 were the usual way for them to be named following the
abolition of slavery. These slaves would have previously been known by
their given name, in the same way that British names originated.
At the end of slavery, each would have had to register
their newly found freedom with the authorities, who would require a
surname. some choose their father's name, but many were given the name of
their former slave owner or the place they were born or currently lived at.
The Americans have a similar policy to the Welsh, in
that they like to utilise their wife's maiden name in their children's
names. This naturally creates some unusual christian names, which are often
passed on to future generations as being a family name.
This approach to naming helps genealogists greatly, as
does another U.S. practice, multiple naming after one's father. For example if you find that one of your descendants was
Benjamin Disraeli Covington the third, you know that the next 2 back in the
family line were also called Benjamin Disraeli. It all helps towards the
From my experience of contacting fellow Covingtons from
America, it is noticeable that genealogy has many more followers in the
U.S. than found in the UK. They are generally very keen on tracing their
birthright particularly if they can trace a branch in the UK. Of course,
any link with British royalty would be the ultimate find.
of the United Kingdom) (Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names) (Penguin
Dictionary of Surnames) (Scottish Place Names by W.F.H. Niclaisen) (The
Surnames of Scotland) (American Place Names by George R. Stewart)