This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either Lacock in Wiltshire, near Chippenham, or Laycock in West Yorkshire near Keighley. The place in Wiltshire is recorded as "Lacok" in the Saxon Chartulary of 854, and as "Lacoc" in the Domesday Book of 1086; Laycock in Yorkshire is also recorded in the Domesday Book as "Lacoc". Both places share the same meaning and erivation, which is "(the place) by the streamlet", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lacuc", streamlet, a derivative of "lacu", stream, water-course. Locational surnames were acquired by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and who were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Three early forms of the surname were recorded in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns of 1379: Johanna Lakkoc; Thomas de Lacokke; and Johannes de Laccok. One Robert Laycock was an early emigrant to the New World colonies, leaving London in the "Ann and Elizabeth" in April 1635, bound for the Barbadoes. A Coat of Arms granted to a Laycock family depicts, on a silver shield, a chevron between three black cocks. The Crest is a silver cock resting the dexter claw on a gauntlet proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Laycok, which was dated 1247, witness in the "Assize Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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