Recorded in many forms including Coch, Coche, Cocher, Koch, Koche, Kochs and Kocher, with diminutives and patronymics Kochel, Kochl, and Kochlin, this is an early German surname. It is occupational for one in charge of a kitchen. Whilst the translation is literally 'cook', in the early days even before the medieval period, this was a position of status, and would have described one who was in charge of the cooking at a noble or royal house, or in many cases a large religious establishment such as a monastery. Later it took on another generalised meaning of the 'village cook', as few houses had any proper cooking facilities and food would often be taken to a central heating source, headed by the 'cook' for final completion. Not surprisingly given the importance of the job, the surname in its different forms, is widely recorded in almost every country. Early examples taken from surviving authentic medieval rolls and registers of Germany and Switzerland include: Burchart Coch of Zurich in the year 1224. This was at the very begining of the use of hereditary surnames. Later recordings are those of Hainricus Coci of Hohentangen, Germany, in 1268, Rudolf Kocheli at Konstanz in 1303, and Henne Kochlin, given as being the Burger of Wurzburg in 1409.
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