There is a lot of confusion about the origins of this surname. It is definately English, of this there is little doubt, the suffix 'cock' is of pre 7th century Olde English origins, and means 'son of', but the prefix research is unproven. The famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsey holds it to be a form of the ancient personal name Daniel, 'sharpened' to Tan, in the same way that Dennison is sometimes found as Tennison or Tennyson. Unfortunately he does not provide any examples of his research. More recent research published in 1988 suggests that it is a form of Andrew, the explanation in this case being that as Tandy is from this source, then so is Tancock. However the research also indicated that Tancock was a surname from the English Midlands, and this is almost certainly not the case as it is recorded in London at least a century earlier. Our opinion based upon access to the very latest records is that it is a Londonised 'sharp' or nickname form, but not of Daniel or Andrew, but of Hann or Johann as they were most commonally spelt in Britain before the 18th century, and therefore a variant of the surnames Jancock, Jencock, Jeffcock, but probably ultimately the patronymic Hancock. Thomas Hancoc was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Shropshire in 1274, and he may well be the first known recording, with Abraham Tancock being recorded in the church registers of London in the year 1706, when he married Dorothy Stone on October 10th of that year. Later recordings include Elizabeth Jencock at St Dunstans on June 28th 1724, and Willam Tancock and his wife Jane, who were witnesses at the church of St Sepulchre, city of London, on April 1st 1733.
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