This interesting surname of English origin is a locational name from any of the various places so called for example Southcot in Devon and Berkshire or Southcott in Devon and Cornwall, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "suth" meaning "south" plus "cot" "cottage", "shelter". It may also be from a place called Southcoates in the East Riding of Yorkshire, deriving from the personal name "soti" plus "cot". This placename is recorded as Sotecote in the Domesday Book of 1086. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Stephen de Southcote (1305) "Historical Manuscripts Commission, Wiltshire", and John Suthcote (1398), witness "The Feeet of Fines, Essex". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Sowthcote, Southcote, Southcoat, etc.. One William Southcott was christened on August 25th 1560, at St. Gregory by St. Paul, London, and Alice daughter of Nicholas Southcott, was christened on September 1st 1568, at St. Dunstan, Steyney, London. Henry James Sothcott was christened on December 18th 1842 at Crowan, Cornwall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de Suthcot, which was dated 1229, "The Curia Regis Rolls of Kent", 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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