Despite its very English appearance and perhaps deliberately so, this very unusual surname is almost certainly French. Our research suggests that the name is an 'anglicised' form of the heraldic 'Coquelet' recorded in Riestaffs Armourial General for circa 1580. The modern English spelling is meaningless, the French however does translate as 'The Son of Coq' with 'Coq' itself meaning 'son' or a sprightly person as does the English 'Cock or Cox'. The name is not apparently recorded in England before the 17th Century, further proof of the 'Huguenot' ancestry.The name recordings include John Cockaday who married Edith Brown at St. Martins in the Fields, Westminster on June 8th, 1871. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gideon Cockaday, which was dated 1669, Witness at St. Botolphs without Aldgate, London, during the reign of King Charles II, 'The Merry Monarch', 1660 - 1685. 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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