This famous surname has three possible origins, although none are connected with the sea! The first is as maybe expected, a nickname which may refer to a maker or seller of hooks, generally make from bone, and therefore a highly skilled occupation. The second a descriptive nickname for a person with prominent features such as a hooked nose or perhaps a bent back, and thirdly one who came from one of the several places called "Hook" found as far afield as Hampshire and Yorkshire. In the latter case the derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century "hoc" a word describing a spur hill or the bend of a river.What is certain is that the surname is one of the earliest on record. Other examples include Heruicus Hoc in Lincoln (1218), whilst Gilbert de Huc of Yorkshire in 1219 was a land owner. Geoffrey de la Hoke of Devon and Gerrase ad Hokys of Bedford were other land owners. The Coat of Arms granted in 1584 is a blue field, a gold fesse between three gold fleur de lis, signifying victory over the French. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Halwun Hoce, which was dated 1057 - 1071, in the Olde English Bynames list for Devon, during the reign of King Edward, known as "The Confessor", 1042 - 1066. 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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