Recorded as Cocken, Cockin, and the rare Cockland, Cocklin, and Cockling, this is a very early English medieval surname. It has several possible origins although all are in a sense related or associated. The derivation as with the surname Cock, Cocks, Cockes, and Cox, of which it is a diminutive, is from the pre 7th century word "cocca" from the cock bird. As such it may have been a personal name of endearment for a son, or a popular nickname for a youth who strutted like a cockerell or more likely who had the lusty tendencies associated with the bird, or for something different, it could be topographical, and describe a hill dweller, one who lived by a mound or hillock called a cocc. Finally it could be residential, and describe a person who lived at house marked by a sign of cockerel, in the days before house numbering. Amongst the early recordings are those of William le Cock, in the rolls of the county of Staffordshire, England, in 1271, whilst Ralph Cokelin appears in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Cambridgeshire, in 1275. Other recordings from the surviving registers of the city of London include Abraham Cockling at the church of St Katherine by the Tower (of London) on November 12th 1678, Deborah Cockland at St Benets, Pauls Wharf, on August 10th 1721, and Eleanor Cocklin at St Leonards Shoreditch, on May 19th 1777.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aluuinus Coc. This was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Cambridgeshire, during the reign of King William 1stof England, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1086. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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