This interesting surname is a variant form of the popular 'Northcott'. The change in spelling is a combination of dialectal and idiosyncratic spelling in the 'changeover' period between the Middle English of Chaucer, and to some extent Shakespeare, and 'modern' English from the 17th century. There are many villages called 'Northcott' in England although strictly speaking the name mean 'the house to the north' (of the village). There are several surname forms which include Northcote, Norcott, Norkett and Norcock. All surnames had at their inception a logical translation, if the modern surname no longer provides such an explanation, then, as explained above a transposition has taken place. In this case 'Norcock' has existed as a surname since at least the 16th century, and can now be considered a surname in its own right, although this does not affect the origin. Examples of the early recordings include Richard Norcock, who was christened at St Mary's Church, Stoke Newington, on March 31st 1605/1606, (the year is uncertain), and Henrye Norcocke who married Alice Swifte at the church of St Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, London, on May 11th 1606. The Coat of Arms has a black field charged with three ostrich feathers chevronways within two chevrons, all between three boars heads erased, gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Northicote, which was dated 1199, in the Assize Rolls of the County of Stafford, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as 'The Lionheart', 1189 - 1199. 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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