This most intriguing surname, though mainly a Scottish name, may also be of Anglo-Saxon origin as it was first recorded in the southern half of England. In Scotland the name is of locational origin from the barony of "Penicuik", in Midlothian and was first recorded here in 1250, when one David de Penikok witnessed a charter of the lands of Inverpefir, according to Records of the Abbey of Arbroath. Alexander de Penycuyk was master of arts and perpetual curate of the church of Kilconquhar in 1463. The lands and Barony of Penicuik passed from the possession of the Pennycuicks by sale in 1604. The surname is also found as Pennecuik, Pennycock, Pennycuik and Pennycuick in Scotland. The name may also be of Anglo-Saxon origin, from the "cock (son) of Penny", hence "Pennycock". Penny itself was a byname in Olde English times, from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "peni(n)g", penny, probably a nickname given to a man of substance, a penny being the common Germanic unit of value, when money was still an unusual phenomenon, and by no means denoted a coin of little value. The surname from this source first appeared in the early 13th Century (see below) and Thomas Penycok was mentioned in the Poll Tax Returns of 1379. A Coat of Arms granted to a Pennycock family in Edinburgh depicts a blue bend between three black hunting horns stringed on a silver shield. Hannah Pennycook was christened on July 24th 1715 at St. Olave's, Southwark, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of God ... Penigcoc, which was dated 1202, in the "Feet of Fines of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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