Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Pencot, Pencott, Pincott, Pinkett, Pincketh, and Pincked, this is an English surname. It is almost certainly locational from a either a 'lost' medieval place, or from somewhere such as Pinnock in Gloucestershire, or Penketh in Lancashire. The latter is a prime possibility as the village was called 'Penket' or at least recorded as such, in the year 1242. According to Ekwall's famous book, the `Dictionary of English Places Names', the translation of Penketh is 'the end of the wood', from the Olde English pre 7th century 'pen' which he takes to mean 'end' and 'cet', a wood. The meaning of Pinnock is muich the same, being from the Ancient British 'pennuc' meaning 'small hill'. The suffix ending of 'cot(t)' when it occurs, seems to owe more to local dialects than to an actual place, but as there is no such thing as a straight line with surnames, the possibility remains that a place called 'Pencott' or similar spelling, and meaning the 'cottage on the hill' did once exist somewhere. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the 16th century include: Elizabeth Pinkett, the daughter of Richard Pinkett, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on October 15th 1570, John Pincote, a witness at the church of St Andrew by the Wardrobe, city of London, on January 3rd 1620, John Pencath, who married at St Giles Cripplegate, on July 24th 1670, and John Pincott, who married Harriott Johnson at St Dunstans, Stepney, on May 23rd 1723.
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