Recorded in many forms including as Hancock, Hancox, Handcock and Handcocks, this is an English patronymic surname. It derives from the personal name "Hann", itself a form of the early Johan or John, themselves from the Hebrew "Yochanan", meaning "Jehovah has favoured (me with a son)" or possibly "may Jehovah favour (this child)". To this was added the English suffix "-cock", a popular ending deriving from the pre 7th century word "cocca", a nickname applied to a young lad. Curiously it was as a personal name that "Hanecok" was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire in 1276, although the surname itself first appears at much the same time as shown below. These early recordings include John Hanicokes in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield in Yorkshire in 1316, whilst Warynus Hancok and Agnes Hankokwyf were mentioned in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire in 1379. Thomas Hancock (1786 - 1865) was founder of the India rubber trade in England, and his brother Walter (1799 - 1852), invented the first steam engines for road traffic 1824 - 1836. Tony Hancock from Birmingham, who died in 1968, was regarded as the leading comedian of his day. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Hancoc. This was dated 1274 in the "Hundred Rolls of Shropshire", during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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