This interesting surname has two origins; firstly, it may be of medieval German origin, and a topographical name for someone who lived by a beech tree or beech wood, deriving from the Germanic "buche", a development of the Middle High German "buohe". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Secondly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, a locational name from Bocking in Essex, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century given name "Bocca", plus "ing", people of, tribe. The placename is recorded as "Boccinge" (995) in the Anglo-Saxon Wills, and as "Bochinges" in the Domesday Book of 1086. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Bocken, Bockin, and Boken. Church Records list the christenings of John, son of John Bocking, on December 3rd 1571 at St. Margaret's, Lothbury, London, and of Johanes Georg, son of Johanens Bocking, on October 15th 1753, in Neunkirchen, Westfalen, Germany. A Coat of Arms granted to a Bocking family is silver, a black fesse nebulee between six red crosses crosslet. The Crest is on a red chapeau, turned up ermine, a leopard passant proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Bocking, which was dated August 4th 1570, christened at St. Margaret Lothbury, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.
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