Amongst all the many interesting surnames, this one in its varied spellings of Coaker, Cocker, and Coker, deserves to be in the forefront. It is English and there are two possible origins. The first and most romantic, originates in the period of the Olde English in the 5th century a.d., and derives from 'cocc', a word used in many contexts, but one which originally described 'a son'. However such was the importance given to the male heir, that the word was also used to describe a 'warrior', the implication being that the son would hardly be anything else but somebody who would defend the family's so-called honour. As however it became clear that not all sons were hell-bent on such a lifestyle, the word became applied to a professional warrior or a prize fighter, one who fought less for honour and more for money! The second origin is more pragmatic, and describes a maker of hay ricks and stacks, (originally known as 'cocks') an important occupation in medieval times, when survival over winter relied upon the preservation of winter feed for the animals, before the days of barns. Certainly the surname is one of the earliest recorded with Geoffrey Cockere being recorded in Berkshire in 1237, whilst Adam Le Kokkere is recorded in Staffordshire in 1327. Later recordings include James Cocker at St Giles Cripplegate, London, on December 29th 1583, Ann Coaker the daughter of Oliver Coaker, christened at St Gregory's by St Pauls Cathedral, in the city of London, and Richard Coker, a witness at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on July 15th 1647. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henri Cockere. This was dated 1198, in the Pipe Rolls of the County of Kent, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as 'The Lionheart', 1189 - 1199.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017