THE ORIGINS OF
Before we look at
the actual historical transition of our name, it is interesting to first
look at how names have evolved and why, indeed, we need surnames at all. In
early times when the population was smaller and few people would ever
travel far from their respective settlements, people would be known only by
their given name and place of habitat e.g. Harold of London, Peter of
Bedford etc. It was only when the population grew and the undoubted
confusion of more than one William of York in one's midst took place, that
individual surnames originated for the purpose of more specific identification.
The four primary
sources for second names or surnames were;
Occupation, for example, Baker, Butcher,
Smith etc. In some cases though time has changed the shape of these words
and such names as Baxter, a derivative of Baker, have emerged. As a simple
rule of thumb, many names ending in -er, have derived from this source.
plus relationship, for example, Johnson, Patterson, Jones etc. Again
names have evolved from the original source and such names as Dawson are
now quite common, but is in fact from the same origins as Davidson, with
Daw being an olden days shortened version of David.
for example, Longman, Short, Small etc. Some names were derived from a
persons manner, for example Dukes and Abbots probably were given to
somebody who acted in a "dukely or abbotly" manner. Many names
derived from less complimentary distinguishing characteristics, such as
Shufflebotham and Crookshanks. Names such as Goodfellow, Wisdom and Fairman
are perhaps somewhat kinder to those who now carry the name. It does seem
somewhat unfair that anybody should have to inherit a name with such
obvious characteristic connotations as Boldass, particularly when one may
grow up to be a 6 stone ballerina!
for example York, Bradford, and of course Covington, even Churchill which
derived from those who lived near a church on a hill. By far the largest
group of surnames is drawn from names of places, from whence a person came,
or occasionally was going to, or from the geographical detail of his place
This, one would
consider, to be quite straightforward, but in many cases, as years have
passed by, the spelling and pronunciation of a name may have changed
dramatically. An interesting example of this is the surname Snooks, which
it is said, has derived from the Kent town of Sevenoaks.
Much of these
spelling changes were due to illiteracy rather than some wish to confuse
latter day genealogists. In the early days even the most educated had their
problems spelling words when pronounced by a rural speaker. More of this
later when we look at the different derivatives of Covington.
the same basic rules apply for Welsh names, except many more are
derivatives from their father's name, eg Davies, Jones, Williams etc, all
being translation as "son of". Another variation is the old Welsh
prefix of "ap", again meaning "son of". This has
spawned names such as Pritchard (ap Richard) and Pugh (ap Hugh) etc.
is the fact that there are more hyphenated names in Welsh families than
anywhere else in the UK. This is because the Welsh have a great affinity to
using both parents names in their surnames as a means of differentiating
between all the Jones' and Williams' who live there.
Like the Welsh, many Scots share the same few names, having taken their
chosen name originally from the powerful clans with whom they sought
protection, as a sign of allegiance. Even today the inhabitants of one
Scottish island all have the same name, though they are not all related by
blood. To rectify this confusion many added place-names to their surnames,
and although this initially was started by the lairds and barons, it soon
spread to farmers and the like.
names can be found throughout the world, thanks to the Scots great
tradition of colonisation, however many 18th Scots fearful after the
Jacobite Rising, travelled south and adopted less obtrusive English local
The surname prefix "Mac" is of both Irish and Scottish extraction
and like "Ap" in Welsh and "Son" in English means
"son of" and is placed before the father's name. An interesting
additional note is that O' before a name is usually linked with, and placed
in front of, the grandfathers name, and again, roughly translated means
Royalty - According to the Marquis de Ruvigny
in 1911, there were about 100,000 living descendants of Edward III. Today
that figure must have grown substantially and would suggest that over 20
out of every 100 Englishmen born are a royal descendant. If you are
fortunate enough to link in with a member of the royal family, much of your
future genealogical research work will have been done for you. Sadly, it is
unlikely to mean that you will be invited to Sunday tea with the Queen, but
it does make interesting after dinner small talk at your next candle-lit
My research has
always been limited to those actually named Covington. No doubt anybody
wanting to trace back descendants of each spouse of a Covington will find
their way into the Royal circle. Please let know if you are successful in
any legal claim for part of the Duchy of Cornwall.
One of the great
challenges for any genealogist is to come up with the definitive answer to
the question "Where did my name come from?" Not surprisingly
there can sometimes be a difference of opinion between one genealogist and
another. I'm pleased to say that the same applies to the Covingtons, be it
that we don't seem to be too far apart in our version of the grassroots
Within the rest of
this page are 3 versions of the answer to the "Where are we
from?" question. These have been penned by myself, a Zella H Nesbitt,
grand-daughter of Berrill Covington and one Venda Covington. Because this
is my website, I'll go first !!
COVINGTON IN ENGLAND by Martin H
origins of the Covington name are believed to be associated with the
English translated phrase "One who came from
(The estate or settlement of the Cufa family), in Huntingdonshire. (Note;
Cufa is a kind of wicker coracle used on the River Tigris in Mesopatamia,
although how a tribe came to be named after a wicker basket is somewhat
down the original Cufingatun name, piece by piece, we have:
Saxon tribe name)
- inga (of
- tun (estate)
or ton (Anglo Saxon for a place surrounded by a hedge or palisade, a town
Many Anglian names
containing the -ingtun prefix were established in the
Northumbria/Berwickshire area. It seems that the connective particle
"-ing" is only found with "-tun" in both English and
Scottish forms. Examples are given of Edington, Edrington, Mersington,
Regington, Thirlington and Upsettlington as being first recorded around
1095 in Berwickshire and meaning " farm associated with ... ".
This is a similar explanation to that as described for Covington,
Huntingdonshire. There may also be links with Covenham & Coveney.
examples to be found of the Covington name, or spellings similar, are as
follows; Covintune and
Covesgraue - 1086 Domesday Book, Kuvintone -
1226 Episcopal Registers, Coutngton - 1260 Assize Rolls for
Hunts, 1331 Feet of Fines for Hunts by G.J.Turner, 1493 Calendar of
Inquisitions Post Mortem, Covinton - 1272 Feet of Fines for
Hunts, 1279 Rotuli-Hundredorum 2 vols 1812-1818, 1285 Feudal Aids 6 vols
1899-1920, 1303 Feudal Aids 6 vols 1899-1920, 1303 Exchequer Subsidies for
Hunts 1303, Coventon -
1478 Feet of Fines for Hunts
(Domesday Book) may have developed into Cosgrave which is in
Northamptonshire near Stony Stratford on A508, just outside Milton Keynes,
where, there is said to have been a strong form of the Covington name in
It is most
interesting to note that the majority of examples found were recorded in
the Huntingdonshire area. Covington, the village, is no more than a hamlet,
although it does have a fine example of a Norman church, suggesting that it
was once a relatively important settling place.
** Covington, Hunts
Names of Bedfordshire & Huntingdonshire)(The Concise Oxford Dictionary
of English Place Names by Eilert Ekwall)
There is also a
small town in Lanarkshire, Scotland named Covington. It is believed that
the place name could have originated from Scandinavia. It is also suggested
that Covington, Colinton & Cobbinshaw could be linked, as all 3 have as
their first elements the CO personal name Kolbeinn (Scandinavian), an
adaptation of the Irish name Columban.
Kolbeinn may have
given rise to the Villa Colbani, circa 1190 (Colban's Estate) and the
following extracts from Scottish History detail how the name has been
developed to the present day.
Colbaynstoun, Colbayn, Colban & Colbanus - 1120 (Kelso)
The earliest form
found was Colbaynstoun, i.e. the vill or tun of Colbayn or Colbain, perhaps
the Colbanus who was a witness to the charter by Earl David founding the
Abbey of Selkirk (later Kelso), circa 1120.
Colbainestun - 1187-89
He is doubtless the
ancestor of Thomas de Colbainestun who witnessed a charter by William the
Lion confirming certain churches in Dumfrieshire to the see of Glasgow
between 1187-89 (REG p65).
Villa Colbani - 1189-1196
Colbaynstoun - 1204 (Dryburgh)
Colbaynstoun witnessed resignation of the lands of Ingilbristoun (later
Inglisberrie) in 1204 (Dryburgh, 163) and as Thomas de Villa Colbain
witnessed an undated charter by William the Lion to David de Haia, son of
William de Haia of Herol (SCM 11 p305).
Colbaynstoun between 1202 and 1222 was witness to a charter by Brice,
Bishop of Moray bestowing the church of Deveth (Daviot) on the cathedral of
the Holy Trinity at Spyny (REM 53).
Colbanstone, Colbanston & Colbenstone - 1296
Colbanstone and Isabele de Colbanston rendered homage for their possessions
in 1296. The seal of Isabele bears the Virgin & Child & S'Isabelle
de Colbanesto, and that of Margaret bears a device like a shuttle in pale
between 3 stars and a legend S'Margar' d' Colbanst (Nain 2, p198,534,550)
Colbenstone of Lanarkshire, probably a relative, also rendered homage in
the same year (ibid p213).
Colbeynston - 1297
In 1297 a Royal
Message from Edward 1st of England was directed to William de Colbeynston.
Colbaynston & Colbayneston - 1304
In 1304 Sir John de
Colbaynston held the successful farm of barony of Colbayneston of the King
(Bain 2, p232,428
Cowantoun - 1434, Covingtoun - 1480 & Colbinshaw -
(Abbreviations; Bain - Calendar of
documents relating to Scotland preserved in Public Record Office, edited by
Joseph Bain, Edinburgh 1881-84, Kelso - Liber S.Marie de Calchou, registrum
cartarum abbacie Tironensis de Kelso 1113-1567 Edinburgh 1846 (2 volumes),
Dryburgh - as Kelso but "Premonstratensis de Dryburgh", Edinburgh
1847, REG - Registrum episcopatus Glasguensis, Edinburgh 1843 (2 vols), SCM
- Miscellany of the Spalding Club, Aberdeen 1841-52 (5 vols))
I THINK AM ENGLISH !!
So the Covington
name has derived from one of two locational sources, one English and the
other Scottish. From my research, I believe the English version to be the
one that has spawned the majority of today's people named Covington,
whereas, the Scottish name has remained purely as the place name of a
little village in Lanarkshire. Few Covingtons live, or have lived, in, or
close to, Scotland, so it is seems highly unlikely that the personal name
developed from there.
The earliest person
named Covington that I have been able to trace was the rector of Covington
Church in Hunts, Edmund Nicol de Covington in 1381. As stated above, he was
named as "of Covington", so can be considered as being from the
pre-surname era, as can one Abbut of Covington, who I have recorded as
born, circa. 1520. Both of these examples are actually more likely to be
describing the job location, as The Rector or Abbot of Covington, so
genealogically speaking are of little real interest as they would not have
passed the name onto their children, if they had had any. The earliest Covington
surname, that I have on file is John, born circa 1542, although I have
records of a Robert who died in 1558, therefore it could be that he was
born before John, although there are no details of his age at death.
But that is just my interpretation of the information
that I have managed to uncover. The following item is somebody elses view.
One Zella H Nesbitt, grand-daughter of Berrill Covington a 19th century
Brit who became a Mormon and moved his family to Utah in the U.S.
COVINGTON STORY by Zella H Nesbitt, during 1984
this is a direct extract from the original work and there are some obvious
errors in interpretation of English History)
name "Covington" can have two origins and it is now impossible
to separate them
are two Scottish places called Covington.
One of these was spelled Villa Colbani around 1100, Colbaynistun
around 1212, Cowantoun in 1434 and Covington in~l480. The meaning is Colban's Village. The other place is of fairly recent origin
and was probably named for a Covington.
older place was probably named for the Colbanus who witnessed a charter by
Prince David around 1120. This Colbanus was probably the ancestor of Thomas
de(of) Colbainestun who witnessed a charter by King William the Lion around
1180. He is probably the Thomas de Colbanyston who was a charter witness in
1204 and who witnessed a charter by King William the Lion a few years later.
William de Colnanyston was a witness to a land charter granted by Brice,
Bishop of Moray around 1210.
de Colbanstone and Isabele de Colbanston rendered homage for their property
to the English Crown in 1296. The seal of Margaret bears a device like a
shuttle between three stars and the legend “S’Margar'd'Colbanst”. The seal
of Isabele depicts the Virgin and Child and the legend "S’lsabele
de Colbenstone also rendered homage the same year. All of the foregoing
lived in Lanarkshire and were probably related. A royal message to William
de Colbeynston from King Edward I of England was delivered in 1297. Sir
John de Colbaynston held the farm or the Barony of Colbayneston by direct
grant from the King around 1327.
is also a Covington in Huntingdonshire, England, which was spelled
Covintune in the 1086 Domesday Book, Kuvintone in 1226 and Couyngton in
1260. The meaning is “homestead of Cufa's people". Cufa is probably of
Scandinavian origin and the meaning is unknown.
foregoing information was researched for me by a Mr.J.C. Downing. I am not
sure if we are related to our Scottish Cousins but Huntingdonshire is very
close to Bedfordshire and it is quite possible that we could claim a future
connection to them.
the Covington's were in Bedfordshire very early also. The Parish Register
of St.Pauls begins with 1565 and almost the first name in it was a
Covington. I also found Coventon wills in the late l500's. At this time
they seemed well established and it is my belief that they had been there
for some time before that.
first man by that name emerging from the shadows or unknown and
unidentified ancestry is a John Coventon probably born around 1612-16. His
wife was Ann and we find three children listed in St Pauls as belonging to
them. Elizabeth - Christened 1633: William 1640 and Mary 1643. Then at this
time all of the entries in St Pauls are missing as they are in many other
parish registers of England at this tine. We have to turn to History to
understand why, for a period of nearly 20 years there were no Baptisms,
marriages or burials recorded.
tells us that this was the period of the civil wars when Cromwell ousted
the Kings and became Lord Protector of England. In order to understand why
this affected the church records we need to go back to about 1330 when King
Henry VIII separated from the Roman Catholic Church in order to be able to
divorce Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn. The Pope & the
Catholic Church did not allow divorce. At least this was more logical than
simply beheading her, which of course became the fate of poor Anne Boleyn
and then latterly Catherine Howard. He confiscated church properties and
made such changes as suited his purposes.
They then became known as Church of England or Protestants. When his daughter Mary Tudor came to the
throne after his death she reinstated the Catholic Religion and executed so
many protestants that the Catholic Church fell into disfavour and in 1558
when Henry's other daughter Elizabeth came to the throne she appointed an
Archbishop of Canterbury and began to unify the two extremes of religion
and this brought about what is termed the golden age of English History.
this time it became a law for all the Parish Ministers of all the churches
to begin keeping a written record of all the Christenings (Baptisms),
Marriages and Burials which took place in their jurisdiction and these
became known as the Parish Registers. Some began right away and others took
a little longer and we find that the five churches in Bedford, England
began about 1565. This began the period when those trying to locate their
ancestors in England began their golden age, so to speak. Many of these old
registers are a gold mine of information. This continued until about 1642
when the rebellion of the Civil Wars began
1649 the Roundheads as the rebels called themselves finally succeeded in
having King Charles I beheaded and Cromwell, their leader, became Lord
Protector of what is known as the Commonwealth period.
churches came under attack as did anyone else who remained loyal to the
King. The churches were searched and anything that would burn was burned,
which included many of the Parish Registers. Many of the Ministers fled
into hiding and took their records with them. Some of the records were
buried and in some cases were never found again, and so this next 20 years
are a very difficult time for genealogists.
1653-1660 the records were kept by a registrar who was appointed by the
government and while some of them did a fairly good job, others were
careless as is the case in St. Pauls. In 1660, Charles II was crowned and
many of the ministers returned to their Parishes. In St Pauls, Bedford the
entries begin again in November 1660.
this means to our Covington Family is that John and Ann were having their
family right in the middle of this terrible time. We will probably never know exactly how
many children they had, but this John seemed to be the only one at that
time and so as, we pick up the later period about 20 years later we find
what must surely be their children in the marriages. We find an Elizabeth
who married a William Gardner 1672: Mary married Richard James 1671 and we
find a John Coventon who married a Mary Fobach 1667 and then the exciting
find was our No.1 Simon who married Mary Menard (Maynard) l2 Oct 1671.
and Mary had four children born in St Pauls: Mary, Simon II, Elizabeth, and
William, and little William died a year later. Then we have nothing more on
this family in St Pauls.
moved to St Peters and we find the reason for this in the will of a George
Maynard of St Peter Martyn dated 2 Nov 1680 in which he says: I bequeath to
my daughter Mary Coventen the house and lands whereon John Kemp now lives
in St Peters, … along with bequests to his other children. So then we go to
St Peters Register where we find three more children born to Simon and
Mary, namely, another William, Jane and George. For nearly one hundred
years we find our Covingtons living in St Peters. It was here that Simon II
married his wife Elizabeth Upton.
brought an interesting line into the family and we were able to trace her
mother's ancestors back into the l400s through wills on the Tillye
ancestors. It is not my purpose to
give all dates and information on these families which are contained on the
Family Group sheets and also only those allied families which had some
direct bearing on the history of our Covington Family and so I will not
elaborate on these lines.
and Elizabeth had eight children all born in St Peters. The second of which
was Simon III; who was born January l704. Simon III married a girl named
Sarah, but we have never been able to find the marriage, and so we are
unable to find her maiden name or anything about her. But we know they had
nine children, and again it was the second son who was named Simon, our Simon
IV. Simon III lived to be nearly 80 years of age and he took on the job of
raising Simon IV’s three small children as we shall talk of later.
this point we need to go back in time to pick up another ancestor out at
the mists of the unknown. This was a John Dove born about 1634 who lived
and had something to do with food or drinks
in St Pauls. In his will dated l680 he leaves to his son William some
leather and shoemaking materials along with the bench and etc. This is
important because we believe that he was then living in, if he did not own
it, the little shop known as the Robin Hoode Inn.
little bit or history concerning the Robin Hoode Inn was important to me
because in our Family Traditions we had the story of some property which
was left in England and which the family was unable to sell before they
left and which was probably worth quite a sum of money at this time. My
great Uncle Edward Covington was always going back to England to claim the
said property and he had deeds with which to do it. Unfortunately he never
ever was able to make the trip.
was eager to find more on this Robin Hoode Inn. On the 25 November 1718 a
John Cooch married Dorothy Hensman in Kempston, Bedfordshire and at this
time a marriage settlement mentioned two cottages and the Robin Hoode Inn,
now in the occupation of William Dove. Next we find the Will of William
Dove who was the son of John Dove and who is called a cordwinder
(shoemaker) at this time, and in this will he leaves to his daughter
Elizabeth Berriel the "house she now liveth in, known by the name of
the Robin Hoode, to her and her heirs forever." He also leaves to his son William Dove jr
my house in Mill Lane the house I now live in. This Mill Lane is in
St Cuthberts and this is important also and may be one of the two cottages
mentioned in the marriage settlement.
to go back to our Simon IV. He was born 21 Sep l735 and married in St
Cuthberts to Jane Berrill who was the daughter of William Berrill and
Elizabeth Dove (she is the one in William Dove's will who was given the
Robin Hoode Inn). We have so far been unable to prove the parentage of
William Berrill, but believe he may have came from Northamptonshire which
records we have not as yet obtained for our library. Although much research
has been done there already.
Simon IV was a thatcher which means he applied the straw to the roofs of
and Jane seem to be living in St Cuthberts at this time and their four
children are listed in that Parish register and yet the Robin Hoode seems
to have been on the main street in the center of Bedford which would have
been in St Pauls. Perhaps they were
living in one of the two cottages given in the marriage settlement. Simons brother William had by this time
married a sister to Jane Berril by the name of Elizabeth. We find later
that they are living in the Robin Hoode and it may be because our Simon did
not become a shoemaker but chose to become a thatcher instead.
any rate tragedy seems to stalk this little family; They had two sons:
Edward born 1760 and again the second son was our Simon V born 1763, John
the third son born l765 only lived one day. Then in 1766 and I believe that
it may have been at the birth of another son whom they named John, the
young mother died on the 4th Sep and one month later on 2 Oct the father
also passed away, at the age of thirty-one years leaving three small
children under six.
Simon, the thatcher left a will and in it he bequeaths his share or one
half of the house in which my brother William now liveth and which is
commonly called or known as the Robin Hoode in the said town of Bedford and
also all his monies and whatever he has in trust to his Father Simon
Covington and his brother William to be used to care for his three young
children. The will was signed the 30 September which was shortly after his
more will throws light onto the property deeds which Uncle Edward said he
had in his possession. Our Simon V who became an orphan at his parent's
death had the older brother Edward (brother to his father Simon IV) who
seems to be looking out for him. We have the will of Edward Covington of St
Peters dated 1812, in which he leaves to his nephew Simon, son of Simon, of
Wells St. the cottage with all rights belonging thereto which is situate in
the Parish of St Peters which I lately purchased of Martha Butter and now
in the occupation of John Belden, shoemaker. This was the Simon V who married
Elizabeth Brown and we know he was a shoemaker and the father of your Simon
VI and my Berril.
had a researcher in England who knew I was interested to find out more of
The Robin Hoode. He made inquiries and came up with the opinion that it had
now become known as the "Crossed Keys". In those days they had
the shop on the ground floor and lived upstairs. And so one can imagine
that back in 1650 John Dove had an eating and drinking place in the
downstairs part and it may have continued or it may have been partly used
as a shoemaking shop by those who were shoemakers like William Dove and our
know Mother always wondered if the story was true and if the
property was all that was described and I can't help wishing that we could
have found these facts and stories for her to enjoy.
1794, Simon V, the shoemaker moved his family to Wellingborough,
Northamptonshire. I believe it had
something to do with the fact that it was here that the first effort was
made to put shoemaking into a factory. Up until this time you went to your
nearest shoemaker who might have a small shop or even a room in his home
and ordered your shoes and he made them to fit that particular feet
according to your specifications. Wellingborough became famous for the
first large scale attempt at assembly line shoemaking. At any rate we know
they were there in 1797 when one of their daughters was buried there. My grandfather claimed to have been born
there in 1794, but when we found a record of the family it listed St Pauls
as the birthplace for all of the children.
find also at this time that Simon and Elizabeth’s children are not listed
in any of the five Parish registers in Bedford. We finally found out that they had
separated themselves from the Church of England and joined a congregation
which called themselves Independents and here we found the record of the
births of some of Simon's children and also of Berril's family. They met in
what was called the Old Meeting House on Mill Lane or sometimes referred to
as Independents Mill Street Chapel.
feel that this story would not be complete without a little history and
description of Bedford since it is near and dear to the hearts of all of us
who had our beginnings in that famous City.
is one of the largest cities of Bedfordshire. It is the county seat and is
situated about forty-eight miles from London. The great river Ouse winds
its way from the northeast border through all the north central portion and
exits into Buckinghamshire on the west. It cuts right through the City of
Bedford and from the pictures its banks are beautified and it forms a large
part of the recreation of the city such as boating picnicking etc.
is an inland county and contains about 1:63 square miles. It is generally
level with its highest hills not more than five hundred feet high. It's
fertile soil make it suitable for farming which along with stockraising
arid dairying are its main industries. Years ago hat making and lacemaking
were important, but now on a limited scale.
description I found said that much of it is not so different or so much
changed from the days when our ancestors walked its streets, attended its churches
and struggled for their existence within it's boundaries. It was here in
Bedford City Jail that John Bunyan the great puritan preacher and writer
was a prisoner from 1660-72. He was
imprisoned because he refused to give up his beliefs after the restoration
of the Catholic Church, and it was while he was a prisoner that he began to
write and in 1675 while serving another six months term that he wrote most
of his greatest book "Pilgrims Progress"
was through him and others like him that religious intolerance was finally
broken down and by the time our Covington Family carne along they were free to join any
one of half a dozen churches, but even so they were still labeled as
dissenters it they had their children baptized in one of the Parish churches
of that time.
city of Bedford is divided into five areas each taking the name of the
church within its boundaries and known as Parishes. The five are: St Pauls,
which is the largest and situated in the center of the city near the river:
St Peters: St Cuthberts: St Marys and St Johns.
Berril Covington family moved from Bedford to Liverpool some few years
before 1852 where they got work making shoes for the army to get money to
go to America. This followed their conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter Day Saints or Mormons. But their family was large so three of
them came first. The oldest daughter Mary Ann and Berril Jr emigrated in
1842. Later the brother Simon (Simeon) came out but got as far as
California and never did rejoin his family in Utah. Josiah another brother
never made it to America but his wife and family along with Berril’s family
sailed from Liverpool in 1852. They joined a wagon train and crossed the
plains to Utah with most of them walking most of the distance.
not know too many of my Covington relatives personally as most of the older
ones were long gone before I was old enough to care much about those
things. Also because my Grandfather Berril and most of his family moved to
Ogden, Utah which was about sixty-five miles from where we lived and where
he had first settled. In those early days we had no car and those kind of
trips were always just a dream away. And so my memories are mainly from the
stories which came to me through my mother from her mother Priscilla
Covington who was the youngest child in the family of Berrill
Covington. I do remember my
grandmother Priscilla even though I was only about seven years old when she
died. My Mother always seemed to have a particular fondness for her
Covington relatives and I always thought the stories were romantic and
course there was the one of the valuable property left behind which we
could dream of selling and making us all rich. Then there was the stories
of Priscilla as a little girl of eight years who was brave enough to be
baptized in January in the frozen over river Ouse in the middle of the
night. This had to be done after a hole was made in the ice and at night
because of the bad feelings against the Mormon church at this time. And then the stories she told of their
long walk to Utah which I thought sounded so romantic at the time.
remember one of our Covington cousins who had a trained animal act which
included horses that could count and a dog that walked a tight rope. I was
young at the time and don't remember his first name or how he fits into the
family but I have thought that he was maybe a son of Alonzo Covington who
ran a livery stable in Salt Lake City for many years.
Covington, one of Berril's sons who remained in California drove one of the
big mule teams which were used to haul Borax out or the desert and I having
seen these things portrayed in movies always thought this must have taken a
lot of practice and know-how to handle three or four of these teams at once
with their heavy loads.
have always thought they must have had their share of the spirit of
adventure to leave their homes, friends, and families, and a lot of courage
to brave the perils of a new country.
And this brings to mind another of our ancestors who was among the
passengers of the Mayflower which brought to the American shores the brave
men and women who were to establish the first permanent colony in the New
was on the Tillie Line which I mentioned before. Mary Tillie was the
grandmother of Elizabeth Upton who married Simon II. Mary's grandfather was
a John Tillie who with his wife Joan and his youngest daughter, along with
his brother Edward Tillie and Edward’s wife made up five of the passengers
who sailed on that famous ship in 1620. We know that due to the fact that the
Captain set them ashore in Massachussetts instead of Virginia and in
December which in Mass. is bitterly cold. And due to the fact that the
Mayflower was overcrowded and that they had to remain on board for the rest
of that cold winter that about a third of the little colony died of
malnutrition and disease that first year. John and Edward and both of their
wives were among that number. They
were about fifty years of age at the time and had left the rest of their
family in England among which was Robert Tillie the father of Mary. The
daughter Elizabeth survived and married one of the men of the colony and
they have a large family of eleven children many descendants in New England.
the month of February in this year 1984 something very thrilling and
remarkable happened and we have become reunited with one of our lost
families who also answered the call of adventure and settled in Australia
in about 1839. The ancestor of this branch of our family was Simon the brother
of Berril and about whom we knew nothing until a letter arrived from one of
his great great grandsons a Mr. Darren Foster who through his efforts has
managed to establish contact.
branch of the family adds a new and exciting chapter to our Covington story.
Simon Covington who was known throughout his life as Syms, left home
perhaps soon after the death of his father which event happened Mar 1831.
His Mother had passed away about ten years earlier. At any event we find
Plymouth which is a southern seaport in December of
that year. Why Plymouth? Perhaps the
call to adventure which is strong in young men and he was about twenty-two
years old at the time.
he signed on as a "Fiddler" and cabin boy on the H.M.S.
Beagle a small Naval Brig about ninety feet in length, and carrying 74 men.
It was to be a scientific gathering voyage. Also signed on board as an
expert “Naturalist” was a young man about the same age as Syms by the name
of Charles Darwin.
Beagle sailed from Plymouth 27 December 1831 and little did they know that
before they next touched English soil they would have circumnavigated the
globe and five years would have passed. They arrived in England 1 Oct 1836.
was not long before Syms was made an assistant to Charles Darwin and the
two then gathered specimens of every living thing which Charles then used
to prove his Theory of Evolution and which then became his most famous
writing "The Origin of the Species”
might think that young Syms would have had enough of foreign lands and
sailing, but in 1839, he was off to Australia where he married his wife and
raised a large family of nine children. He worked here as an Inn Keeper and
postmaster. Perhaps he had some experience in Inn Keeping in his early days.
those early days back in l500’s our Covingtons have had many and varied
occupations: Inn Keeper, shoemaker, fanner, shepherd, laborer, thatcher,
postmaster, Livery-stable-keeper, trainer of animals, mining, railroading
and many more that I don't remember or know about. But no matter what I
have a great love and respect for the part they have played in my life.
read these words in a little history of Bedford: "Bedford on the River
Ouse is a charming town full of character and steeped in History." I
would like to paraphrase this to read: The Covingtons of Bedford were
charming people full of character and ever striving to make that history."
YET... ANOTHER VERSION by Vaden Covington
Covington Story- From 831 A.D. to the 1976 Bicentennial
name Covington originates from "Kolbin" which the Norseman,
Turgesin brought with him when he invaded Northern Ireland in 831 A.D. It
was translated by the Irish as "Covan." In the migration to
Scotland the name became "Cova." In the further migration to
England the name became "Cov" the name: "Ing" meaning
people and "Ton" meaning town. Thus town of Cov's people or
appears in Baiamund's Roll as "Covingtoune" - in the 1086 A.D.
Domesday Book as "Covintune" - in the 1126 A.D. Episcopal
Register as "Cuvintone" and in the 1260 A.D. Assize Rolls of
Huntingdonshire as "Couyngton."
town of Covington is located 65 miles north of London, England and 3 miles
from the famed Kambolton Castle where Catherine of Arragon was in exile,
while King Henry VIII formed the Church of England, so he could divorce
Covington Church was built in Covington in 1171 A.D. and is still used and
in good repair. My wife and I were there in 1971 to help celebrate the
800th year since the Church was dedicated. (Covington Church which has
served the parish of Covington, England for over 800 years. Its fine Norman
doorway and ancient heraldic glass gives a direct link with the Norman
Conquest of England. One of its early ministers was Nicol de Covington.)
de Covington, my ancestor was born 1628 A.D. in Covington, Huntingdonshire,
England. Left Covington, and arrived in Northampton, Virginia, in 1646. He
was a grist mill stone cutter, blacksmith and tobacco planter. He
registered this Owl's Head Trade Mark in 1663.
Covington, son of Nehemiah registered the "Quarter Circle above the
C" brand shown here in 1691. He was a stone cutter as were many
Covington's in our line. He was the Great Grandfather of General Leonard
Covington shown later.
Covingtons were prominent in United States History: here are a few that we
have in our Bicentennial display at the County Museum here in Redlands:
Covington, General under General George Washington in the Continental Army.
Elected to Continental Convention in 1788. Later he was granted
"Plantation Acreage" and a pension by Congress.
Covington, served as Captain in the Virginia Colonial Army under General
George Washington. He served as Adjutant General to George Washington in
the Continental Army and wrote the terms of surrender at Yorktown. Congress
granted him 2500 acres of land for his outstanding service.
Poythress Covington, was the Colonial Surveyor for King George III. He
joined the Continental Army and was captured by the British. He made his
escape and was later appointed to set up the North Carolina Military
Henry Covington, served under General George Washington and married
Winifred Stone, whose father was a signer of the Declaration of
Independence. He was District Judge for many years and had a large farm on
Leonard Covington, entered the Army in 1792, was commissioned lieutenant of
Dragons in 1793. Joined Wayne's Legion in 1794, and greatly distinguished
himself in the battles of the Maumee, Fort Recovery and the battle of
Miami. Subsequently, returning to Maryland, he was elected to Congress. He
later moved to Natchez, Mississippi, where he took command of Fort
Dearborn. He later, with 600 soldiers, took possession of West Florida,
(which consisted of the now pan-handle of Florida, part of Georgia, Alabama
and Mississippi) for the United States from the English and French who
claimed it. He then retired and built a mansion at Washington, Mississippi,
6 miles from Natches, which still stands in good repair.
outbreak of the 1812 War with England, General Covington re-enlisted, built
and took command of Fort Covington across the St. Laurence River from
Montreal, Canada. He was killed in the Battle of Chrysler's Field in
Canada, November 11, 1813. He was buried at Fort Covington and in 1820, was
removed to Mount Covington, Sackets Harbor, New York. Most of the places,
counties and forts named Covington in the Untied States were named in the
Wall Covington, my grandfather, moved from North Carolina in 1840 to
Mississippi, where he started our present business of making grinding
equipment. He made hand and foot grinders for grinding farm tools, gem
coral and sea shells for trinkets in the Indian Fur trade. In 1848, he
registered the Covington Trade Mark as shown on the front of our catalog.
During the Civil War, at the end he was broke because the Confederate money
was worthless. Things were so bad in the south that he decided to move to
California by ox teams. The Indians were on the warpath, along the Santa Fe
Trail, so he decided to take the long Mormon Trail by way of Salt Lake
loaded the bottom of the wagons with Covington Grinders for trading stock
and started out on this two year journey (which can be made in 2 hours by
air now). My father, Wm. Vaden Covington, was one year old when they left
and three years old when they arrived where Redlands is now.
each day was used to herd the oxen for feed and hunting for food, so travel
was very slow. My grandfather had a brother in Salt Lake. He helped to make
trades of Covington Grinders for supplies and get a guide to take them
through the desert to Redlands, California. Feed for the oxen would be poor
and very little hunting. Mormon guides always insisted on feeding the
Indians along the way to keep on good terms with them, so it took extra
food. My folks arrived where Redlands is now in 1868.
James Wall Covington registered this "M T" mark in San Bernardino
County which he used on his grinding arbors and livestock. We still use
this trademark and brand.
will notice in our catalog that we are members of the Exclusive California
State 100 Year Club. That we have been making grinding equipment in the
Redlands area for over 100 years, to serve you.
and Dr. Gerald Smith, Director of our San Bernardino County Museum here in
Redlands invite you to visit our display, "The Covington Story 831
A.D. to 1976"...
TO THIS ...
received the following e-mail in July 2007 from Victoria Chulkova (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Madam / Sir,
My name is Victoria Chulkova.
web site I have known some information concerning the name Covington -
My mother's name was Tamara Kolbin. Her father was Victor Kolbin and her
grandfather was Vasiliy Kolbin. The family was living in Kotelnichi
near Viatka, Russia. The name Kolbin is very rare in Russia, as it is not
Russian one. I don't have any information when Kolbins came to Russia, and
I don't have any information about Kolbins before Mr. Vaisily Kolbin. He
left Russia in the beginning of XX century to UK and was leaving in Hornsea
(York) till his death in
Do you have any information how Kolbins got to Russia.
Thank you in advance,
Victoria Chulkova (Mrs.)
of Oak Ridge, TN
offers the following opinion, Rev:
COVINGTON - A Richmond County, NC lineage
Early Lineages: England Maryland North
It is still quite debatable who may be the English
progenitor for this line. Most
accounts of the early Covingtons, both in England and in America, include
much speculation. This author (WDB)
does not consider the decent defensibly ‘proved” until generation (7)
below: William Wall ("Uncle
Billy") Covington (1777-1852).
DaCosta E. Covington in a note to this author (Oct-2000)
then favored the following lineage: (1) George Covington in Bedfordshire
England, through (2) George, (3) William, (4) Peter (of Bedfordshire), (5)
Henry (died MD 1744), then (6) John who came to North Carolina. The
following brief details are taken from D.E. Covington’s book “Covingtons
George Covington was christened 10-May-1568. This may be the George
Covington that married Elizabeth Wilbrow 13-Mar-1576. His will, dated 1613
in the Bedfordshire parish of Turvey in England, lists 7 children,
William Covington (d. abt 1662), a blacksmith, married Ann, and had 8
children, including Peter;
Peter Covington married Elizabeth, and had 5 children, including Henry;
Covington (ch. 14-Nov-1681 in Turvey, Eng.), came to Maryland and died 1744
in Queen Anne’s County. George
Calvert (Lord Baltimore) had established the Maryland colony. Henry Covington was living there by 1712
on his land called “Providence.” He died in Jul-1744, having collected a
large estate. He had seven children, including John;
John Covington, Sr., was born abt 1710, married Mary Airey at St. Luke
Church, Church Hill, MD on 31-Jul-1731.
He died abt May-1767 (Will 36ff 2-3 Queen Anne’s Co., MD).
The LDS FamilySearch files favor an alternate
descent (used in this database):
John COVINGTON (AFN:19ZX-S4G)
(2) Nehemiah COVINGTON (AFN:L8V8-60)
1628 Place: Coventry, Huntingdonshire, England
Died: 1681 Place:
Great Monie Crk, Somerset, Md
Buried: Place: Covington's V., Somerset, Maryland
Married: Jul 1667 Place:
Covington's V., Great Monie Cr., Somerset, Maryland
Anne INGRAM (AFN:L8V8-75)
1628 Place: Of, Covington's V., Somerset, Maryland
Died: 1678 Place:
Of, Covington's V., Somerset, Maryland
Married: Jul 1667 Place:
Covington's V., Great Monie Cr., Somerset, Maryland
(3) Thomas COVINGTON (AFN:L8V8-9H)
May 1670 Place: Great Monie Crk, Somerset, Md
Died: 30 May 1670 Place:
, Kent, Md
Buried: 1715 Place:
St Paul's Church, Kent, Md
Married: Abt 1690 Place:
, Kent, Md
1672 Place: Of, , Kent, Maryland
Buried: Place: St. Pauls Church, Kent, Md
Married: Abt 1690 Place:
, Kent, Md
1693 Place: , Kent, Md
Died: 31 Jul 1744 Place:
Providence, Queen Annes, Md
Buried: 31 Jul 1744 Place:
, Queen Annes, Maryland
Married: 1712 Place:
, Queen Annes, Md
1700 Place: Of, Church Hill, Queen Annes, Md
Died: Aft 31 1744 Jul Place:
, Queen Ann, Maryland
Buried: Place: St. Pauls Church, Queen
Yet another source
(http://home.swbell.net/jwjean/covington.htm) gives the emigrant ancestors
as: (1) William Covington b. abt 1585 in England, and d. 22-May-1674 in
Essex Co., VA. This source states that William came to America with Lord
Baltimore in 1634. This source gives
a further descent as (2) John, Sr., then (3) John, Jr., with John, Jr.,
being the father of (4) Henry Covington (abt 1674-1744) of Queen Anne’s
Researcher Mildred Covington Sossaman in her
memoir traces her William Covington (ca 1753-1816) line back to Henry
Covington (1744 will, Queen Anne’s Co, MD), through his son William born ca
1720 (Queen Anne’s Co, MD), and died after 1789 (will, Richmond Co., NC).
She notes that there were multiple Covington lines, which had often
intermarried. Sorting out the early
generations of Covington is probably impossible, and often is based more on
“legends and lore.”
Covingtons of Richmond County, NC
Reference: J.E. & I.C. Huneycutt (1976), “A
History of Richmond County”
p.56: Early families of Richmond County: “The
Covington, Everett, Cole, Dockery, Webb and McDonald families were among
the earliest settlers; and the Covington’s probably have the best claim to
aristocracy, having been members of Lord Baltimore’s settlement in
p. 63ff: The Covington families (by Elizabeth
Records indicate a William Covington who may have
come to the Richmond County area in 1743. “They are directly descended from
Henry Covington who came to Queen Anne’s Co., Maryland, in 1760. Two of his children came to Richmond
County with their families – William, who married Sarah Newman and then
after her death Rachel Thomas, and a daughter Sarah who married a
“Another son of Henry was John who married Mary
Airy in Maryland. While they did not
come to Richmond County, their ten children did. From these ten came many other family
names in Richmond County.
“From these fine families came many substantial
citizens in the Ellerbe-Norman Section, the Zion community where Uncle
Billy or William Wall Covington was the leader, .. (etc.). The Covington descendants are the Walls,
Everetts, Hunters, Capels, Baldwins, Gibsons, Terrys, Throwers, Ingrams,
ledbetters, Coles, Littles, Dunns, Thomases, Masons, Usserys, Ropers,
Crawfords, Kellys, Leaks, Thompsons, Steeles, Entwistles, Baltons, Smiths,
Ellerbes, Nichols, Haywoods, Webbs, Watsons, Bosticks, Parsons, and Hudsons and probably
genealogies for the Covington’s of Anson and Richmond County, NC, are based
upon the biographical sketches of Captain William Everett, which were published
in the Rockingham Post Dispatch, Richmond Co., Volume 10, No. 35, July 21,
1927. Some other Covington
researchers have criticized some of the speculative assignments in these
sketches, and some errors have been found (as would be true for all extensive
compiled genealogies). Capt. Everett
begins with the traditional “three brothers” fable: “Tradition has it that
there were three brothers bearing the above name (Covington) who came to
Maryland from England with Lord Baltimore in 1632.”
Further opinion as to the true root of the
appears in a file contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives
by: Joy Fisher email@example.com February 4,
2008, 3:39 pm
Author: B. F. Johnson with references to Charles Manley Covington (ref
11477 in Covington History database files)
"The Covington family goes back to a very ancient period in both
Scotland and England. The Scottish founder of the family was said to have
been Colban, who nourished about the year 1120. From him came the local
name of the parish which in 1190 was called Colbani. In 1212 it appears on
the record as Colbaynistun. In 1396 it is called Colbanstoun. In 1480 it
appears as Covington. This evolution in names and variations in spelling
are very common in all of our English and Scotch names. The original
meaning of the name was Col, black, ban, bone or leg. Colban, therefore,
was "the blacklegged." In those days in Scotland the men wore
kilts, and were bare as to the greater part of the leg. It is therefore
clear that Colban was of dark skin, and as the majority of those around him
had fair skin it was very natural for them to seize upon this personal
peculiarity by which to designate him, tthis being a custom in all
primitive nations. This is the Scotch derivation. The English family
originated in Huntingtonshire of that country. The early name was Coventon,
afterwards changed into Covington. Coven or Covan was derived from the
Latin conventus, a convent, and Coventon or Coventon thus means a convent
town, the family evidently taking its name from some convent town. The old
form of Coventon survived down to the seventeenth century, and Covent
Garden, London, is a relic of this old spelling. In England
while the family name was spelled Coventon, a coat-of-arms was granted
which is described as follows: "Az. fretty argules a saltier parted of
the last between four estoiles or." Crest. "An heraldic tiger
rampant gu. semee of estoiles armed and tufted or, supporting a tilting
spearppre." Motto, "Invidere Sperno."
The family history in America is rather obscure. One Thomas Coventon (who
later spelled his name Covington) came from England and settled at
Plymouth, about 1740. He was a master mariner, and retiring from the sea
purchased large property in Old Plymouth. A younger brother, Jacob
Covington, inherited his property. This family appears to have died out
entirely in New England. Another
branch settled in Franklin county, New York State, and changed the name of
old Fort Springs Mills to Fort Covington. The Maryland family appears to be
the oldest in this country, and is beyond all reasonable doubt the parent
stock of all the southern Covingtons. These Maryland Covingtons came over
at the first settling of that colony by Lord Baltimore. The family
tradition has it that
there were three brothers. The North Carolina and Virginia families are
both believed to have been descended from these, and it is a tradition in
the North Carolina family that two brothers, descended from one of the
original Maryland settlers, came to Rockingham prior to 1776. These two
brothers were John and William. A third brother settled in Covington, Ky.,
and gave his name to the town. Terrell Covington, father of the three
brothers in Florida, was a descendant of John. A favorite name in the
Maryland family was Leonard. Rebecca Covington, daughter of Leonard,
married in 1750 Lieutenant Benjamin Mack-all, who was one of the earlist
Maryland patriots and suffered much from Tory persecutions. John R.
Covington, a member of the Maryland family, became a gunner in the navy,
and died in 1840. Erasmus F., of the Kentucky family, was a lieutenant in
the regular United States Army, and died in 1833. General Leonard
Covington, of Maryland, born the thirtieth of October, 1768, entered the
regular army as a Lieutenant under Anthony Wayne in 1792, was a captain in
1795, resigned late in that year, served in the Maryland Legislature in
re-entered the army in 1809 as a Lieutenant-Colonel, was a
Brigadier-General in the War of 1812, and fell mortally wounded at the
battle of Chrysler's Field, on November n, 1813, leaving behind a record
which entitled him to be classed not only as a gallant, but as a most
capable soldier. Another prominent member, Judge Alexander Covington, of
Mississippi, who died October 16, 1848, aged seventy-one, went from
Virginia to Mississippi where he lived for forty years, was a Christian
gentleman, charitable, hospitable, and of rare colloquial powers. It will
thus be seen that the family is of ancient origin, has been long settled in
our country, and has made an honorable record."
Extracted from: FLORIDA EDITION, MAKERS OF AMERICA, AN HISTORICAL AND
BIOGRAPHICAL WORK BY AN ABLE CORPS OF WRITERS VOL. III. Published under the
patronage of The Florida Historical Society, Jacksonville, Florida
KIN" by W.H.Manning Jr & Edna Anderson Manning
in 1958, this book contains a significantly detailed section on the
Covington tree. Some of it is definitely inaccurate but nevertheless worthy
of a read. This pdf format copy was sent to me by Duncan Covington Cvngtn@aol.com
in May 2012 and can
be accessed by clicking on this link OUR KIN PDF
correspondence has put me in touch with one Dr Dan Wharton from the Thomas
Covington(1605 line) - he writes
Offering to coordinate a Covington DNA project, employing "molecular
genealogy" to explore the connections between the various Covington
lineages. The Y chromosome is inherited biologically from father to
son in the way that surnames are "inherited" from father to son
culturally. By analyzing a set of genes on the Y chromosome, it is
possible to see which same-surname lines are connected by common paternal
line descent vs. those that only represent a coincidence of surname
use. This can be a tremendous help for Covington genealogists at a
records impasse.The DNA test requires the sampling of male Covingtons only
but female Covingtons and maternal line descendants can also employ the
technique by getting cooperation from brothers, uncles or cousins.
Sampling is handled easily and conveniently through the mail. Five or
more participants allow for substantial discounts on the analysis. For more
information, please contact Dan Wharton by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. "