This interesting name, with the spellings Cockin, Cockett, Cockitt has two distinct possible origins, the first and most likely being a locational name from a place in Durham called Cocken. Recorded as Coken in the Finchale Charters of that county, dated 1138, and as Cokene in 1195, the first element is the Old English pre 7th Century personal byname 'Cocca' from 'cocc', a cock, plus "ea", a river or stream; hence, "Cocca's stream". Alternatively, Cockin may be a metonuymic occupational name for a maker of cokinbread i.e. a leavened loaf presumably the same as cocket-bread. One, John Cokin was recorded in "The Hundred Rolls of Nottinghamshire", dated 1273, and in 1391 a John de Coken was vicar of Billingham, Durham. On October 5th 1578 Rychard Cockin, an infant, was christened in Kirkburton, Yorkshire, and on April 12th 1584 John, son of Thomas Cockin, was christened in St. Dunstan's in the East, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Cokin, which was dated 1207, in the "Curia Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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