Recorded in a number of forms including Cookney, Cockney, Coockney, Cookny, Cuckney, and possibly others, this is almost certainly a surname of English and possibly Scottish, origins. We cannot find any connection with the descriptive term 'Cockney' as applying to an East Londoner, one born within the sound of Bow Bells. The term 'coken ey' was apparently recorded in London in the 14th century, and is said to have described a small egg, and could have been used as a nickname. However by this time surnames were well established, and in any case there was not much point calling somebody 'Cockney' when everybody around was a Cockney! 'Locational' surnames are 'mobility' names given to people after they left their original homes (at a time when fewer did by modern standards), and moved somewhere else, as easy identification. In this case we believe the names originate from either the village of Cuckney in the county of Nottinghamshire (Old English cocc ney -bird place or bird island), or possibly from Cookney of similar origin and meaning, a village in Kincardine, Scotland, near the town of Stonehaven. The first recordings in the church registers of the city of London generally considered the most accurate, are 17th century and examples include Henry Cuckney and his wife Agnes, who were christening witnesses at the church of St Mary Abbots, Kensington, on February 13th 1628. This was in the reign of King Charles 1st of England, 1625 - 1649. Other early recordings include Thomas Cockney at Allhallows, London wall, on March 14th 1648, and John Cookney who married Elizabeth Tenney at the church of St Mary Le Bone on December 17th 1690.
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