Origins of the surname Cox

This interesting surname has a number of possible origins. Firstly, it may have originated as a nickname from the bird, the cock, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cocc", and applied to a young lad who strutted proudly like a cock. The nickname may also have referred to a natural leader, or an early riser, or a lusty or aggressive individual. It may also have derived from the Olde English personal names "Cocc" or "Cocca", found in placenames, although not on independent record. But as "cock" became a common term for a boy, it may also have been used affectionately as a personal name. The third possibility is that it may be of topographical origin for a "dweller by the hill", deriving from the Olde English "cocc" meaning haycock, heap or hillock. In London it probably originated from the sign of a house or inn. One William le Cock, appears in the Staffordshire Forest Pleas (1271) and Hugh ate Cocke, is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of London (1319). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Cock, Cocke and Cocks. On October 18th 1556, Alicea Cox married Burkrave Westdrop at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aluuinus Coc, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1086. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. -- www.surnamedb.com

This page belongs to the Eucalypt Family History collection, maintained by Ryk Field. Reach me by email to: rykfield@gmail.com