Unknown artist after François Clouet (c. 1515-...

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots

Where Does the Name Covin Come From?

My husband’s last name, Covin, is an Anglicized version of the original French name, Couvain.

Apparently, a sailor, Jean-Pierre, from Marseilles, sailed with General Lafayette to serve in the American Revolutionary War.

After the war, he asked permission to return from France and settle here.

It is a very unusual name, except in South Carolina, where he first settled, Georgia, where my husband’s family has lived for five generations, and Texas, where one brother moved several generations after the first settlers..

Periodically, we get telephone calls from someone named Covin, who, seeing our name in the phone book as they pass through town, calls to see what the relationship is.

What Are My Parents’ Roots?

My maiden name, Frederick, is German. My father’s mother’s name was Zander, also German.

My mother’s mother’s name was Notley – Irish.

My uncle’s research there revealed there were Black Notley’s and White Notley’s, apparently a legacy of the plague, when they separated to different towns.

My grandmother’s maiden name was Stuart, Scottish textile merchants whose ancestors go back, reportedly, to Mary, Queen of Scots.

They emigrated first to Ireland, then to America. We have a piece of a tile roof from their home in Ireland.

What about you?

  • Where does your last name come from?
  • How recently did your ancestors come to this country?
  • How far back can you trace your genealogy?
  • Why did they come?
  • What stories about them have been passed down?

What do those stories tell you about your family?

Is this the day to start writing those stories down?

Get a small notebook today and carry it with you to capture your stories as you remember them, to tell your grandchildren.

To you and the stories your grandchildren want to hear.

Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers

Click here to nominate my book for Best Grandparenting Book at grandparents.about.com


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