Recorded as Whittock, Whittuck, Whytock, Whittek, and possibly others, this is quite a rare surname of English medieval origins. It derives from the pre 7th century Old English 'hwit - cocc' which according to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley, means 'The White Cock', but whether this is a reference to somebody who lived at or by a house or inn with this name, or whether it has a more personal meaning, is not known. The name appears to have originated in the West County of England with for instance Robert Wytcok being so recorded in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of the county of Wiltshire in 1273, and John Wyttok in the Subsidy Tax rolls of the county of Somerset in 1327.The fact that these recordings are associated with the payment of tax based upon land and possessions suggests that the surname may like the popular White Hart, refer to an inn or similar. It is however possible that it is an ethnic name, in that 'Hwit' or White often referred to an Anglo-Saxon or Viking settler, as both these races were fair haired and fair skinned compared with the native English. If so the name could have described the 'son of White' with 'cocc' used as for instance in the names Hancock or Hitchcock to mean the 'son of Hans' and 'son of Hick' respectively.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2022