This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for the attendant or servant of a cook, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "coc", cook, with "mann", man (Middle English "couk-, cokman"). In medieval times, the term "cook" was also applied to a seller of cooked meats, and to a keeper of an eating house, the name itself is an ancient one, an Aelfsige thene Coc being recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Wills Records, dated circa 950. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary.One John Cukeman was noted in the 1261 Close Rolls of London, and a John Cookman appears in the Court Rolls of the Borough of Colchester, Essex, dated 1374. In the modern idiom the name has two spelling variations: Cockman and Cookman. On October 4th 1573, Margaret Cockman and John Swylle were married at Great Burstead, Essex, and on December 2nd 1633, Richard Cockman married a Susan Hughes at St. Gregory by St. Paul, London. An early settler in the New World was Richard Cockman, aged 20 yrs., who embarked from London on the ship "Faulcon" bound for the Barbados in April 1635. The Cockman Coat of Arms is a silver shield with three red gamecocks crested and wattled black, the Crest being a black demi eagle displayed. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Cokeman, which was dated 1276, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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