This interesting and unusual name, with variant spellings Coxedge, Cocksage, and Cocksidge, recorded in Church Registers of Suffolk from the mid 16th Century, is believed to be of locational origin from a lost village originally in that county. The prime cause of village "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century, along with natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348. The component elements of the name are the Olde English pre 7th Century personal byname "Cocca", from "cocc", a cock, plus the Olde English "ecg", edge or hillside; hence, "Cocca's ecg". On March 5th 1563, William Cocksedge, an infant, was christened in St. Matthew's, Ispwich; Thomas Cocksidge was christened in St. Mary's, Woodbridge, on September 22nd 1588; and in 1597, Mary Cocksage married a Thomas Warren in Bury St. Edmunds. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Coxedge, which was dated June 10th 1548, marriage to William Hills, at Thorpe Morieux, Suffolk, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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