Recorded as Chenick, Chinnock, Chinick, Chinnick, and even Chinook, this is usually an English surname. It certainly has nothing to do with what used to be called the "Red Indians of America" which is what one would associate with Chinook. It is in fact locational and from the villages called East, Middle and West Chinnock in the county of Somerset, in the West Country. These villages are ancient, and some of the recordings relating to the villages or the inhabitants, are amongst the oldest ever recorded or certainly surviving, in England. These recordings include the village spelling as Chinnuc in the first known Wills record in or about the year 950 a.d., and as Cinioch in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. According to the Oxford dictionary of English Place names, the place name probably means means "The valley between two ridges (or hilltops)", from the Olde English pre 7th century words "cinu - ock." Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original village to live somewhere else. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, often lead as with this surname, to the creation of "sounds like" spellings.Examples taken at random include Mary Chynnocke, who was christened at St Stephans, in the city of London, on December 10th 1589, and Rose Chinook who married John Hodgson at St Mary-le-Bone, also city of London, on June 16th 1863.
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