This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called "Cockerham" south of Lancaster in Lancashire. The place is recorded as "Cocreham" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Kokerham" in the Cockersand Abbey Chartulary of 1190, and is named from the River Cocker on which it stands, with the Old English pre 7th Century "ham", homestead, settlement. The river name is an ancient one, deriving from the Old British (pre-Roman) word "kukro", meaning "crooked, winding", which is similar to the early Irish (Gaelic) word "cucar", crooked, awkward. Locational names were usually given to the lord of the manor, and especially to those former inhabitants who moved to another area, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Cockerham, Cockram (around Bristol), Cockrem, Cockran and Cockren. The marriage of Richard Cockerham and Anne Puller was recorded at Warton, Lancashire, on October 15th 1620. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Kokerham, which was dated 1349, in the "Register of the Freemen of the City of York", Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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