This interesting surname is of Scottish origin, and is derived from the occupational name for a cook, derived from the Latin "cocus"; the name could also have been given to a seller of cooked meats, or a keeper of an eating house. The name development since 1178 (see below) includes the following: John Coquis (circa 1190, Kelso); Radulphus Cocus (1204, Dryburgh); Richard Cook (1274, Dunfermline); William Cuk (1398, Aberdeen); and John Cuke (1402, Edinburgh). The modern surname can be found as Cooke and Cook, and is very common in both Scotland and England. An early settler in America was one Garret Cooke, who set sail from London on the "Primrose" in July 1635, bound for Virginea. Among the recordings in Scottish Church Registers are the marriage of Alexander Cooke and Marjorie Powrie on August 22nd 1680 at St. Maddes, Perth, and the christening of Thomas, son of John Cooke and Margrat Croone, on February 1st 1715, also at Perth. The marriage was recorded in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, of John Cooke and Elisabeth Barton Watt, on April 28th 1806. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jocelin Cocus, which was dated 1178, Edinburgh, Scotland, during the reign of King William "The Lion" of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. 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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