This name, with variant spellings Cockdell, Cockdale, Cockdall and Cogdall, is particularly well recorded in church registers of Buckinghamshire and London from the Mid 16th Century, and is of locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages or hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime cause of these '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. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1248 also contributed to the 'lost village' phenomenon. The original place is believed to have been in Buckinghamshire, and the component elements are the Old English pre 7th Century 'cocc', (Medieval English 'cok'), a cock, plus 'dael', a valley. On July 14th 1561 Margery Cockdale, an infant, was christened in Stoke Hammond, Buckinghamshire, and on July 19th 1587 Thomas Cogdell and Magdalen Wingfeild were married in St. Augustine's, Watling Street, London. The christening of Anne Cogdell took place in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, on July 11th 1636. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ellen Cockdell, (marriage to William Bibsworth), which was dated September 25th 1541, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, 'Bluff King Hal', 1509 - 1547. 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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