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About us

We believe CODE and its variants COADE, COAD, and COODE to be one of the twenty oldest hereditary surnames in Cornwall - dating back to the 1300s. Because it is so very old, a number of different branches of this family lived side by side for centuries, near Liskeard and near Truro. Through DNA we have sorted out the different families and have shown there are three different paternally unrelated families, who probably lived within a few miles of each other in the 1500s. The first family includes the COODEs of Cornwall and Nashville, and two distantly related families, the North Hill Coads and the Truro Miner Coads. Another unrelated line of COADs has also lived in Devon. It seems that this family is as ancient as the Cornish one. The large family of Coads originating from St Stephen in Brannell in Cornwall are actually from the Devon family - causing speculation that this Devon family may in fact be descendants of the CODE gentry of Gidleigh and Morval. A third family appears to be descended for CALLAWAY or KELLIOWE, probably through some non-parental event in the 1500s. There are also quite a number of families who have adopted these names more recently in the New World and around London and Yorkshire, derived particularly from CODD in Ireland, Lincoln, Suffolk, Kent and Wales. This project is tracking the different lines to help establish relatedness within and between families where the paper record is in doubt or non-existent.