This picturesque and interesting name of Medieval English origin is a dialectal variant of the locational name 'Woodcote', from places so called in Hampshire, Surrey, Oxford, Warwicks and Shropshire, or 'Woodcott', in Cheshire and Hampshire. The earliest recording of Woodcote appears in 'The Chartulary of the Abbey of Eynsham' or 1109, as 'Wdcote', whereas Woodcott appears in the Domesday Book of 1083 as 'Odecote'. The derivation of this placename is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'Wudu', a wood, and 'Cot', a cottage, probably in this instance a Woodmans cottage or shelter. In the modern idiom the variants also include Woodcoat and Wodcott, although Whodcoat is by far the rarest. Amongst the recordings in Warwickshire is one Dorothy Marson Woodcoat, christened on May 15th 1757 at Nuneaton. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Wudecota, which was dated 1193, Pipe Rolls of Shropshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, 'The Lionheart', 1189 - 1199. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017