The Cude Family Project is a surname study. It is an effort to trace the Cude Family history from its earliest origins. To do this, we are going beyond the traditional genealogical research of “Dusty Documents” and using modern genetic testing. yDNA analysis is particularly helpful in a surname study. Its usefulness relies on the fact that the Y-chromosome is passed down largely unchanged from father to son. Mutations accumulate over long periods of time and give every family a unique signature. These small changes can be measured in a yDNA analysis. The outcomes can then be compared to others. Thus, yDNA analysis can confirm or rule out specific relationships to others.
For example, the Coads/Coodes of Cornwall and our American Cude family have lived in the same regions of England and America at about the same time for at least 5 centuries. As a result, the spelling of the names (especially in America) was frequently confused. Dr. Joe Flood manages the Coad-Coode Project with Family Tree. Despite our close proximity to one another in time and place, yDNA testing proved that the American Cude Family is not related to the Cornish Coad/Coode family.
Old English records provide substantial circumstantial evidence that the counties of Cornwall, Devon, and Somerset in Southwest England represent the English Homeland of the Cude Family. On the American side, we can follow our ancestors from Virginia through North Carolina, Tennessee and beyond, but we have a brick wall that has prevented us from identifying our Original Cude Immigrant to America. Additional yDNA testing would greatly assist our research efforts. Testing from the American side has been limited. Therefore, the Cude yDNA Project seeks to promote increased yDNA testing among our family members.
I encourage you to join our Cude yDNA Project. yDNA test results contain no personal information. Related family members will be identified for you. You may contact them or share more information only if you wish. You are in complete control of your personal information. This is a great opportunity to learn more about your origins and ancestry. Order your test kit TODAY! The yDNA37 test is adequate at this time. You can upgrade later. Click on "Join Request" at the top of this page in the menu bar. You will automatically join the Cude Project when you order your yDNA test kit.
Some Background Information on the Cudes:
There are many surname spellings associated with Cude. Most of these are not related. It is common for multiple different spellings to appear in the same document. In early America, the spelling of Cude and Cood were frequently used interchangeably. When researching the family name of Cude, it is important to be “flexible” when it comes to the spelling.
Surnames were brought to England by the Normans in 1066 who used them as part of their feudal system. By about 1350, most families in England had surnames. From a variety of sources, we can standardize to 5 major sources of surnames. Many originally included the French prefixes “fils”, “de”, or “le”. Other prefixes were used in Scotland and Ireland including “Mc” and “Fitz”, and “O’”.
1) . This means simply that the last name is handed down from the male parent. This has evolved over time. For example, Andrew McDonald would be Scottish for Andrew, son of Donald. Jackson would be Jack’s (Jacque’s) son.
2) . As one can imagine, these were frequently not flattering and generally fell into disuse.
3) Early on, only people who owned land typically
adopted surnames based on places, but this changed with time.
a. This could be places or topographical features such as “ford” or “hill”, or “coude” which is French for “elbow” or “bend of a river”
b. Locations like towns as with Allin de Cude or Allin of/from La Cude (France)
4) Surnames This category can be divided into two groups:
a. Standard occupations such as “fisher” or “farmer”
b. Titular occupations or titles such as Bishop or (de)Priest
5) Matronymic are based on the mother’s last name and might have been
used in the case of illegitimate births or when the mother married a man of
So, what IS in a name?
Of some importance to this Cude Surname Study is the fact that our surname and its iterations are rare. Those of higher social class had surnames that were less common, whereas people of the lower classes had surnames that occur more frequently today. A relatively rare surname like Cude might suggest upper class landed gentry. As a practical matter, an uncommon surname is 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 a challenge.
Today, the most common spellings frequently associated with our Cude surname are Coad, Cood, Coode, and Cudd. There are many different iterations of these surnames. Again, these are not necessarily related. Some of the surnames you will see while researching Cude are:
1) Prior to 1800, these surnames were most frequently associated with Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, greater London. Some sources report that the name is derived from the pet form of the personal name Cuthbert.
a. Cud does not survive today.
b. Cudde is believed to be a precursor of Cud and Cudd.
c. Cudd surnames survive today and are concentrated in the greater London area, Wales, Devon, the West Midlands, and Oxfordshire. It occurs at a very low frequency in Ireland and France.
2) This group of surnames originate in Cornwall or west Devon.
a. Code surnames are associated with the ancient Code family of Liskeard, Cornwall (c1385). This is one of the oldest names in Cornwall. Code no longer survives.
b. Coodelater evolved from Code. This Coode surname survives today and is concentrated in the Greater London area with smaller numbers in Wales, Cornwall, Kent, and Devon. The incidence of Coode in Ireland and France is very low.
c. Coad became dominant after 1600. In Cornwall, the name is said to derive from “coath” meaning old. It could also mean “wood”. The Coad surname survives today and is concentrated in Cornwall, the Greater London area, Devon, and Ireland. Coad has little presence in France.
3) The French surname connection.
a. Coude records are found in England and France prior to 1800. In France, a significant majority are in Brittany. English Coude records are all found largely in Devon. In French, Coude means elbow, bent, or curved and can be used to describe a “bend in the river”. French Coudes are still numerous and concentrated in Brittany and adjoining regions of Pays de la Loire and Normandy.
b. Cuderecords are found in England and France in about equal numbers. In pre-1800 England, the Cudes are concentrated in greater London, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Devon. Today, the majority of English Cudes 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 Cornwall/Devon/Somerset, England face each other directly across the English Channel. In March 2020, a Perrine Cude was discovered in a 1286 AD census in the County of Anjou, France. In April 2020, I got an Autosomal DNA match to a Robert Cude born in Hockworthy Devon in 1809. This led to the discovery of Robert Cude in a legal document in Somerset, England in 1270 AD. These are by far the earliest records of Cudes we have and take the surname back to the 13th century.
The surnames Coude and Cude regularly occur near each other between 1500 and 1800 in both France and England. The connection between the Cudes in Brittany, France and the Cudes in Devon and Somerset, England, is very compelling.
4) Misc. Surnames
a. Cowd(e) is found in low numbers in England with the majority in Cornwall and Devon. There are none reported in Ireland or France
b. Cody is a large family today with the majority in Wales and northern England, including Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire, and the West Midlands. Cody has a strong presence in western Ireland and a small presence in France.
c. Cuddy today has its strongest presence in eastern Ireland and northern England including Manchester, Merseyside, West Yorkshire. It can also be found in modest numbers in London. It is not found in France.
d. Good is a large family primarily found in Southeast England including Greater London, Hampshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and Kent. There is a minor presence in Ireland and Scotland. Some sources report that Cud and Goda were precursors of the surname, Good.
Again, when researching “dusty documents” the surname spellings most frequently observed associated with Cude are Cood, Coode, and Coude.
The Cude’s in Pre-History
yDNA testing of the American branch of the Cude Family 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 about 15% Haplogroup I. Haplogroup I is believed to be the oldest to have originated in Europe dating back about 25,000 years. Its precursor originated in the Middle East some 30-40,000 years ago. Haplogroup I represents about 15% of the European population today. Our Haplogroup I1 (M253) branched off the main tree about 6,000 years ago +/- 3,000 years. Our ancestors followed the retreating ice sheets northward.
In Pre-History, Haplogroup I1 could have found its way to Britain from northwest Europe across the Doggerland land-bridge prior to 6,000 BC. Sea levels were lower and Britain was connected to Europe.
Early History in Europe
In more recent times, our Haplogroup I1 ancestor could 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 the Cude surname in 13th century Europe. Most records begin about 1500+/- AD. England started recording Birth, Marriage, and Death (BMD) records in 1538. Locating references to Cude and various iterations of the surname in public and private records becomes feasible starting about this time. For example:
1) Using the English BMD records, family researchers have found significant clusters of Cud, Cudd, Cude, Coude records in Southwest England, specifically, Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Devon between 1550-1750.
2) Likewise, there is a significant cluster of Cod/Cood/Coode/Coad in Cornwall and Devon.
3) In the 1841 UK Census, the Cude concentration has shifted slightly southward toward Somerset and Devon.
4) Modern surname analysis in 2016 shows that 70%+ of Cude & Cudd records are still located in Southwest England in a corridor along the M5 from Exeter to Bristol and on to Birmingham.
5) We also see a
significant number of Cudes and Cudds in southern Wales.
TODAY, four hundred years later, a significant number of modern English Cudes and Cudds can be found within a 50-mile radius circle that encompasses Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Devon.
Recent DNA analysis
Finally, The Cude Family Project sponsored an independent genetic study of the Cudes that included other genetically related families (but not the same surname). The study suggests an English homeland centered north of Exeter, Devon, England. This study method combines the science of genetics with big data analytics to estimate where our ancestor (the Cude “Adam”) first adopted the surname Cude or some iteration of it.
The analysis suggests that this occurred approximately 1,000 years ago +/-. The study further reveals that the Cude, Britton, Bronson, and Jackson surnames from this area may share a common ancestor. A further analysis of genetically related individuals (again regardless of surname) reveals a cluster of related individuals in Scandinavia, especially southern Sweden.
Thus, by combining yDNA results with other public and private demographic information, the study arrived at substantially the same conclusion provided by traditional genealogy. Amazingly, the theoretical Cude English genetic homeland falls within the same 50-mile radius suggested by the "dusty documents". In addition, the cluster of genetically distant relatives in southern Sweden would be consistent with the Cude Haplogroup I1 M253 concentration in Scandinavia and suggests a Viking connection.
In 2020, The Cude Family Project sponsored a yDNA study of English Cudes located in Great Britain. Almost 100 English family units and males were identified. Nine agreed to test. Significantly, this yDNA testing confirmed that the English Cudes are NOT paternally related to the American Cudes. The English Cudes are Haplogroup R vs. the American Cude Haplogroup I. The English Cudes are mostly related to one another.
In 2022, we received a match
to Tristan Coumbe from Cornwall, England.
Tristan agreed to upgrade his testing to the Big Y. The Cornish Coumbe Family and the American Cude
Family are a very strong yDNA match. Tristan
has a very well documented pedigree going back almost 400 years. FTDNA estimates a TMRCA (Time to Most Recent
Common Ancestor) to be about 1675. This
is well within his confirmed family tree so .
Modern History in America
At this time, Cude Family researchers have NOT confirmed our Original Immigrant to America. Nevertheless, we have several possibilities.
1) The first documented Cude in America is Allin de Cude, living in New Kent, Virginia in 1639. He may have arrived in Jamestown, VA with Captain Nicholas Martineau. Martineau was a French Huguenot who was living in London about this time.
2) We also have a John Cudd sailing from Bristol (Gloucestershire) in 1663 arriving Nevis Island in the West Indies. This was not an unusual first stop for early colonists. Many indentured servants went to work the sugar fields in the West Indies. John Cudd was an indentured servant.
3) We also find Mary Cudd and a John Cudd arriving in Virginia in the late 1600s and early 1700s.
4) We also have Come, Combe,
and iterations arriving in Virginia in the 1600’s.
It is likely that early Cudes ancestors arrived as indentured servants to some of the large Virginia plantation owners. All these people disappear from the historical record. However, John and Mary were the most common forenames among the English Combe, Cude and Cudd families during this time.
The American Cude Patriarch
The confirmed patriarch of the American Cude family is Timothy Cude (Cood).
His father is believed to be a John Cude who died young about 1742+/- and his mother was Ann (Nancy) King. . We have John Cude as a chain carrier on a 1739 survey of land near property owned by Ann King’s father. We have a series of documents that reflect John Cood being married to Ann (Nancy) King at 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 survey adjacent to another survey done for Nicholas Tripp at the same time by the same surveyor.
In addition to the paper trail, we now have atDNA evidence that confirms that Ann (Nancy) King was Timothy’s mother. Given the paper documentation of Ann (Nancy) Kings marriage to John Cood and remarriage to a Tripp, we believe that John Cood (Cude) was Timothy’s father.
The spelling of Cood and
Cude were used interchangeably during this period. We see this short
story starts with Cude, switches to Cood, and ends up back at Cude. Once
Timothy arrives in North Carolina, his name is again frequently spelled
Cood. In early American records, the name is routinely spelled Cudd,
Cude, and Cood.
Timothy Cude was most likely born between 1730-40. Timothy Cood (Cude) settled in what would become Randolph County, North Carolina by the late 1750’s. He married Lydia Horner and had four sons. All known American Cude surname lines begin with Timothy and these four sons: William, John, James, and Timothy. This is substantiated by yDNA testing.
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 and written family history. These individual family stories combined with other histories frequently provide significant clues about the family’s past. All Family members have unique stories of life, death, and survival that adds color to a rich family tapestry.
By seeking expanded yDNA testing among living male Cudes and related families, we can:
1) Confirm the Cude Family connection with Southwest England,
2) Identify different clans within the Cude Family,
3) Focus the research efforts of American genealogists as they search for the Original Immigrant to America, and
4) Identify other
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 menu bar. You will automatically join our project when you order your yDNA test kit. If you would like assistance with the cost of the yDNA testing, you can contact me directly through this site. We have a fund for this purpose.