Recorded as Cook, Cooke, MacCook in the United Kingdom, and in Ireland as Cooke, McCoog, Mc Cook and McCooke, this is a distinguished surname. As Cook or Cooke it has some forty entries in the British "Dictionary of National Biography", and no less than fifty coats of arms. The origination is pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon origin, and as such was an occupational name for a seller of cooked meats, or the keeper of an eating house. The derivation is from the word "coc", ultimately from the Latin "cocus", meaning to cook. The surname has a particularly early first recording (see below). It also has the distinction of being recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, when one Galter Coc was noted in Essex. The surname is also widespread in early Scottish records, with Richard Cocus who held lands in Berwick after 1147, and Raginaldus, the Cook, witnessed the gift of the church of Cragyn in Kyle to the Abbey of Paisley, circa 1177. One Henry Coke, and a Ralph le Cook were recorded in Somerset and Sussex in 1279 and 1296 respectively. In Ireland the name can also be of English or Scottish origins or it may be Gaelic from Mac Uag, although the name still means the same, or from McCoog, which may be from the word 'cuan' meaning a cookoo. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aelfsige thene Coc, which was dated circa 950, in the "Anglo-Saxon Wills Records", during the reign of Edred the Saxon, Ruler of England, 946 - 955. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as the 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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