This interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is occupational for a "cogger", a builder of cogs, or more probably a sailor or master of the cog. The name is derived from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) and Old French "cogue", a small ship, cock-boat, from the Latin "coga, cogo", boat. The surname is found in most coastal counties, and the only examples that do not come from coastal counties are from Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Surrey. However, the Cam, the Lea and the Thames were important waterways in these counties, and the cogger would have been employed there also. The cogger was also known as a cogman, which has also developed into a surname. In his "Legend of Good Women", Chaucer says "And found Jason and Hercules also, That in a cogge to lond were ygo". Among the sample recordings in London are the marriage of John Cogger and May Phillips on August 1st 1678 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and the christening of Benjamin, son of Jon and Julian Cogger, on October 6th 1690 at St. Olave, Southwark. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert (le) Coggere, which was dated 1195 - 1197, in the "Pipe Rolls of Dorset", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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