Recorded as Chinnock, Chinnick, Chinock, Chenick, Shinnock, Shinnocke, and probably others, this is an English surname. It is locational from three villages called East, Middle and West Chinnock in the county of Somerset. First recorded over a century before the famous Domesday Book of 1086, the village appears as 'Cinuc' in the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the year 963 a.d. The later place name and hence the surname, is believed to mean the village at the head of a ravine, from the Olde English pre 7th century words 'cinu-ock', with -ock meaning head. East Chinnock is recorded as Estcinnok in the Assize Rolls of the county in 1243, and Westcinnok is also recorded in the same early medieval period during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names, which is to say names given to people after they left their original village to settle somewhere else. This is a good example, being well recorded in the early surviving church registers of the city of London from the Elizabbethan period. However coincidentally it is equally well recorded in its native Somerset from almost exactly the same year. These recordings include Agnes Chinnock who married Robert Gould at Bruton in Somerset, on October 20th 1587, and William Chynocke, a witness at St Marys Rotherhithe, city of London, on April 28th 1588.
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