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Cude yDNA Project Overview 

The Cude Family Project is a surname study. It is an effort to trace the Cude Family historyfrom its earliest origins.  To do this, we are going beyond thetraditional genealogical research of “Dusty Documents” and using modern genetictesting.   yDNA analysis is particularly helpful in a surname study. Its usefulness relies on the fact that the Y-chromosome is passed down largelyunchanged from father to son.  Mutations accumulate over long periods oftime and give every family a unique signature.  These small changes can bemeasured in a yDNA analysis.  The outcomes can then be compared toothers.  Thus, yDNA analysis can confirm or rule out specificrelationships to others.   

For example, the Coads/Coodes of Cornwall andour Cude family have lived in the same regions of England and America at aboutthe same time for at least 5 centuries.  As a result, the spelling of thenames (especially in America) was frequently confused.  Dr. Joe Flood managesthe Coad-Coode Project with Family Tree.  Despite our close proximity toone another in time and place, yDNA testing proved that the American CudeFamily is not related to the Cornish Coad/Coode family.

Old English records provide substantial circumstantialevidence that the counties of Devon, Somerset, and Gloucestershire in SouthwestEngland represent the English Homeland of the Cude Family.  On theAmerican side, we can follow our ancestors from Virginia through NorthCarolina, Tennessee and beyond, but we have a brick wall that has prevented usfrom identifying our Original 
Cude Immigrant to America.  Additional yDNA testing would greatlyassist our research efforts.  At present, wefind no yDNA testing in public DNA databases from Cudes or Cudds living theSouthwest region of Britain.  Testingfrom the American side has been limited.  Therefore, the Cude yDNA Projectseeks to promote increased yDNA testing among our family members.

I encourage you to join our Cude yDNA Project.  yDNA testresults contain no personal information.  Related family members will beidentified for you.  You may contact them or share more information onlyif you wish.  You are in complete control of your personal information. This is a great opportunity to learn more about your origins andancestry.  Order your test kit TODAY!  The yDNA37 test is adequate atthis time.  You can upgrade later.  Click on "Join Request"at the top of this page in the menu bar.  You will automatically join theCude Project when you order your yDNA test kit, AND you get a $20 discount onthe yDNA37 test.     

Some Background Information on the Cudes:

The Surname

There are many surname spellings associated withCude.  Most of these are not related.  It is common for multiple different spellingsto appear in the same document.  In earlyAmerica, Cude, Cood, and Cod were confused and used interchangeably.  When researching the family name of Cude, itis important to be “flexible” when it comes to the spelling.    

Surnameswere brought to England by the Normans in 1066 who used them as part of their feudalsystem.  By about 1350, most families inEngland had surnames. 

From avariety of sources, we can standardize to 5 major sources of surnames.  Many originally included the French prefixes“fils”, “de”, or “le”.  Other prefixeswere used in Scotland and Ireland including “Mc” and “Fitz”, and “O’”.

1)   .  This means simply that the last name ishanded down from the male parent.  Thishas evolved over time.  For example,Andrew McDonald would be Scottish for Andrew son of Donald.  Jackson would by Jack’s (Jacque’s) son.    

2)   . As one can imagine, these were frequently not flattering and generallyfell into disuse. 

3)    Early on, only people who owned land typically adopted surnames based onplaces, but this changed with time. 

a.    Thiscould be places or topographical features such as “ford” or “hill”, or coude asin “bend of a river”

b.    Locationslike towns as with Allin de Cude or Allin of/from La Cude (France)  

4)     This category can bedivided into two groups:

a.    Standardoccupations such as “fisher” or “farmer”

b.    Titularoccupations or titles such as Bishop or (de)Priest

5)   are based on the mother’s last name and might have been used in the case ofillegitimate births or when the mother married a man of lower class.


So,what IS in a name?  The answer is, ALOT. 

Of someimportance to this Cude Surname Study is the fact that our surname and itsiterations are rare.  Those of highersocial class had surnames that were less common, where people of the lowerclasses had surnames that occur more frequently today.  A relatively rare surname like Cude couldsuggest upper class landed gentry. As a practical matter, an uncommon surnameis easier to trace vs. names like Smith or Jones.  In Wales for example, as late as the 1800’s,50% of the population of Wales shared one of ten surnames.  This makes surname searches in Wales achallenge.

Today, the most common spellings frequentlyassociated with our Cude surname are Coad, Coode, and Cudd.  There aremany different iterations of these surnames.  Again, these are notnecessarily related.  Some of thesurnames you will see while researching Cude are: 

1)    Prior to 1800, these surnames were mostfrequently associated with Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, greater London.  Some sources report that the name is derivedfrom the pet form of the personal name Cuthbert. 

a.    does not survive today.

b.    is believed to be aprecursor of Cud and Cudd. 

c.    surnames survive today and areconcentrated in the greater London area, Wales, Devon, the West Midlands, and Oxfordshire.  It occurs at a very low frequency in Irelandand France.



a.    surnames are associated withthe ancient Code family of Liskeard, Cornwall (c1385).  This is one of the oldest names inCornwall.  Code no longer survives. 

b.    later evolved from Code. ThisCoode surname survives today and is concentrated in the Greater London areawith smaller numbers in Wales, Cornwall, Kent, and Devon.  The incidence of Coode in Ireland and Franceis very low.    

c.    became dominant after 1600.  In Cornwall, the name is said to derive from “coath” meaningold.  It could also mean “wood”.  The Coad surnamesurvives today and is concentrated in Cornwall, the Greater London area, Devon,and Ireland.  Coad has little presence inFrance.



a.    records are found in Englandand France prior to 1800 with a significant majority in Brittany France.  English Coude records are all found inDevon.  In French, Coude means elbow,bent, or curved and can be used to describe a “bend in the river”.   French are still numerous and concentrated in Brittany and adjoiningregions of Pays de la Loire and Normandy.

b.    records are found in Englandand France in about equal numbers.  In pre-1800England, the Cudes are concentrated in greater London, Gloucestershire, Somerset,and Devon.  Today, the majority ofEnglish are in Devon, followed by greater London and Wales.  Cudes have no presence in Ireland.  French Cudes have a small presence in Paris.

Special Note:  Brittany,France and Devon/Somerset, England face each other directly across the EnglishChannel.  In March 2020, a Perrine Cudewas discovered in a 1286 AD census in the County of Anjou, France.  In April 2020, we got a Autosomal DNA matchto a Robert Cude born in Hockworthy Devon in 1809.  This led to the discovery of a Robert Cude ina legal document in Somerset England in 1270 AD.  These are by far the earliest records ofCudes we have and take the surname back to the 13th century.  The connection between the Cudes in Brittanyand the Cudes in Devon/Somerset starts to look very compelling.    


a.    is found in low numbers inEngland with the majority in Cornwall and Devon.  There are none reported in Ireland or France

b.    is a large family today withthe majority in Wales and northern England, including Manchester, Merseyside,Lancashire, and the West Midlands.  Codyhas a strong presence in western Ireland and a small presence in France. 

c.    today has its strongest presencein eastern Ireland and northern England including Manchester, Merseyside, WestYorkshire.  It can also be found inmodest numbers in London.  It is notfound in France. 

d.    is a large family primarilyfound in Southeast England including Greater London, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire,and Kent.  There is a minor presence inIreland and Scotland.  Some sourcesreport that Cud and Goda were precursors of the surname, Good. 



yDNA testing of the American branch of the CudeFamily shows that we belong to Haplogroup I, subclade I1 or M-253.  Today,Haplogroup I is associated with Scandinavia where it represents as much as 45%of the population.  However, Haplogroup I is also prevalent from northern France,up through the low countries, and into northern Germany and Denmark. Here, concentrations range from 10 to 35%.  The U.K. population is about15% Haplogroup I.  Haplogroup I is believed to be the oldest in Europeoriginating about 25,000 years ago.  Its precursor originated in theMiddle East some 30-40,000 years ago.  Haplogroup I represents about 15%of the European population today.  Our Haplogroup I1 branched off the maintree about 6,000 years ago +/- 3,000 years. Our ancestors followed the retreatingice sheets northward.

In Pre-History, Haplogroup I1 could have foundits way to Britain from northwest Europe across the Doggerland land-bridgeprior to 6,000 BC.  Sea levels were much lower and Britain was connected toEurope.

Early History in Europe

In more recent times, our Haplogroup I1 ancestorcould have arrived in Britain at different times in different ways:
        1) Arriving from Gaul with the Romans 2,000 years ago;
        2) Arriving as part of the Anglo-Saxon invasion about 440 AD;
        3) Arriving with the Viking raiders between 800-1,000 AD;
        4) Arriving with the Norman invasion in 1066 AD, and 
        5) Arriving as part of the Huguenot migration during the late 1500’s and 1600’s.

Modern History in Europe

We start finding a recorded history of Cudearound 1500+/- AD.  England started recording Birth, Marriage, and Death(BMD) records in 1538.  Locating references to Cude and various iterationsof the surname in public and private records becomes feasible starting aboutthis time.  For example:  

1)  Using the English BMD records, familyresearchers have found significant clusters of Cud, Cudd, Cude, Coude recordsin Southwest England, specifically, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Devonbetween 1550-1750.  

2)  In the 1841 UK Census, the Cude concentrationhas shifted slightly southward toward Somerset and Devon.

3)  Modern surname analysis in 2016 shows that 70%+of Cude & Cudd records are still located in Southwest England in a corridoralong the M5 from Exeter to Bristol and on to Birmingham.

4)  We also see a significant number of Cudes andCudds in southern Wales.


TODAY, four hundred years later, a significantnumber of modern English Cudes and Cudds can be found within a 50-mile radiuscircle that encompasses Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Devon. 

Recent DNA analysis

Finally, The Cude Family Project sponsored anindependent genetic study of the Cudes that included other genetically relatedfamilies (but not the same surname).  The study suggests an Englishhomeland centered north of Exeter, Devon, England.  This study methodcombines the science of genetics with big data analytics to estimate where ourancestor (the Cude “Adam”) first adopted the surname Cude or some iteration ofit.   

The analysis suggests that this occurredapproximately 1,000 years ago +/-.  The study further reveals that the Cude,Britton, Bronson, and Jackson surnames from this area may share a commonancestor.  A further analysis of genetically related individuals (againregardless of surname) reveals a cluster of related individuals in Scandinavia,especially southern Sweden.

Thus, by combining yDNA results with otherpublic and private demographic information, the study arrived at substantiallythe same conclusion provided by traditional genealogy.  Amazingly, thetheoretical Cude English genetic homeland falls within the same 50-mile radiussuggested by the "dusty documents".  In addition, the cluster ofgenetically distant relatives in southern Sweden would be consistent with theCude Haplogroup I1 M253 concentration in Scandinavia and a Vikingconnection.  

Modern History in America

At this time, Cude Family researchers have NOTconfirmed our Original Immigrant to America.  Nevertheless, we have severalpossibilities.

1)  The first documented Cude in America is Allinde Cude, living in New Kent, Virginia in 1639.  He may have arrived inJamestown, VA, but his port of departure is unknown.

2)  We also have a John Cudd sailing from Bristol(Gloucestershire) between 1654 and 1663 arriving Nevis Island in the WestIndies.  This was not an unusual first stop for early colonists.  Many indentured servants went to work thesugar fields in the West Indies.  Johnwas an indentured servant.

3)  We also find a Mary Cudd and a John Cuddarriving in Virginia in the late 1600s and early 1700s.


It is likely that early Cudes and Cudds arrivedas indentured servants to some of the large Virginia plantation owners.  Allof these people disappear from the historical record.  However, John and Mary were the most commonforenames among the Cude and Cudd families in Gloucestershire during thistime.  This combined with a documented Cudd departure from Bristol andQuaker connections on both sides of the Atlantic suggests a strongGloucestershire connection. 

The American Cude Patriarch

The confirmed patriarch of the American Cudefamily is Timothy Cude (Cood). 

His father is believed to be a John Cude whodied young about 1742+/- and his mother was Ann (Nancy) King.  .  We have a John Cude as a chain carrier on a 1739survey of land near to land owned by Ann King’s father.  We have a series of documents that reflect aJohn Cood being married to Ann (Nancy) King in the exact same time and place.  And we have a document that states that Ann (Nancy)King was the widow of John Cood in 1745 and remarried to a Tripp.  In 1749, Timothy Cude is found on a land surveyadjacent to another survey done for a Nicholas Tripp at the same time by thesame surveyor.    

The spelling of Cood and Cude were used interchangeablyduring this period.  We see this short storystarts with Cude, switches to Cood, and ends up back at Cude.  Once Timothy arrives in North Carolina, hisname is again spelled Cood.  In earlyAmerican records, the name is routinely spelled Cud, Cude, and Cood.  Is it possible that Timothy was the son ofJohn and Ann?  Yes.  Are there other explanations?  Yes.  Timothymight have been John’s brother.  Regardless,it seems unlikely that we would have two unrelated Cudes(Cood) at the samelocation in the middle of the wilderness in the 1740’s.    

Timothy Cude was probably born between 1730-40.  Timothy Cude (Cood) settled in what would become Randolph County, NorthCarolina by the late 1750’s.  He married and had four sons.  Allknown American Cude surname lines begin with Timothy and these four sons:  William, John, James, and Timothy.

Cude yDNA Project Goals

The Cude Family surname is rare, and our Family is small. By identifying other Family members, we can tap into additional oral andwritten family history.  These individual family stories combined withother histories frequently provide significant clues about the family’spast.  All Family members have unique stories of life, death, and survivalthat adds color to a rich family tapestry.

By seeking expanded yDNA testing among living male Cudes, Cudds,and related families, we can:

1)   establishthe Cude Family connection with Southwest England,

2)   helpidentify different clans within the Cude Family,

3)   confirmor refute that the Cude Family shares a common ancestor with related            families such as Britton, Bronson,and Jackson,

4)   helpfocus the research efforts of American genealogists as they search for theOriginal Immigrant to America, and

5)   Identifyother family members on both sides of the Atlantic.

Again, I encourage you to join our Cude yDNA Project. Click on "Join Request" at the top of this page in the menubar.  You will automatically join our project when you order your yDNAtest kit.