This is an English surname. Recorded as Hocking, Hochkin, Hochkins, Hotchkins, Hodgkins, Hodgeskins, this surname however spelt is a diminutive of the personal and surname Hodge, itself a medieval nickname form of the ancient Anglo-Saxon personal name and later surname Roger and Rodger. The derivation is from the pre 7th century compound name "Hrod-gerr" meaning fame-spear. It has been estimated that over fifteen percent of all English surnames descend from an early medieval nickname, and this is a good example. Roger as a surname is not recorded until the year 1263, when Richard Roger appears in the pipe rolls of the county of Kent, whilst William Hodge is recorded in the accounts of Duchy of Cornwall in 1297. The first recording of the diminutive as a surname is probably that of Robert Hochekyn of Staffordshire in 1327, whilst Richard Hoggekynes of Norfolk is recorded in 1445. Frances Hockin is recorded at St Mary Aldermary in the cityof London in 1591, whilst John Hotchkiss in yet another variant form is recorded in Staffordshire in 1690. 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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