This most interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, from a compound personal name comprising "Wil", a pet form of William, with the hypocoristic suffix "-cock". William itself derives from the Norman form of the Old Germanic personal name "Wilhelm", composed of the elements "wil", desire, will, and "helm", helmet, protection, which was introduced into England at the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066. The suffix "-cock", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "cocc", a cock, has been attached to short forms of many medieval given names, and was generally applied to a youth, or in some cases was given to the son of the namebearer, in this instance, "Will".The personal name "Wilcok" first appeared in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire in 1246, while one John Wilcokes, who was mentioned in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield in 1316 (Yorkshire), was among the early recorded namebearers. Joshua, son of Robert and Ann Willcock, was christened on October 31st 1703, at St. Mary's, Whitechapel, Stepney, London. A Coat of Arms was granted to a Willcocks family in Worcestershire which depicts a black fess between three black cock's heads erased. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Wylecok, which was dated 1254, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Somerset", 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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