Cockeysville was named after the Cockey family who helped establish the town.

Cockeysville was the scene of some Civil War action. Confederate soldiers pushed into the Baltimore region, intending to cut off town and Washington from the north. On July 10, 1864, Confederate cavalry under General Bradley T. Johnson entered Cockeysville, ruining telegraph lines and monitor along the Northern Central Railway. They also burned the first bridge across the Gunpowder Falls, only beyond nearby Ashland.

Sherwood Episcopal Church at Cockeysville, founded in 1837 After the war, Joshua F. Cockey III (1837-1920) founded the National Bank of Cockeysville (1891) and other commercial ventures in the community, as well as growing dwellings along the York Turnpike (currently York Road) which made up the village of Cockeysville.

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