Recorded in several spellings including Willock, Whillock, Willox and possibly confused with Wilcox and Wilcocks, this is an English surname which is also well recorded in some forms in Scotland. It probably derives from the Anglo-Saxon or Norman pre 7th century personal name Willoc. This is from the Germanic word "willa" meaning will or desire, although in the later Middle Ages Willoc was also used as a diminutive of the popular personal William. Certainly there are some very early examples such as Kannulfus filius Willoc in the Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire in the year 1219, although this was not strictly a surname, more a descriptive name. The surname is first recorded in the Assize Rolls of the county of Worcestershire, England, in 1221 with that of William Willoc, whilst Randall Wylock is recorded in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379. Thereafter the surname is recorded in North East Scotland with for instance that in 1584 of Gilbert Willox of Aberdeen who received payment "for biging of the Reyheid port," whilst in 1611 James Willock was recorded as being a burgess of Aberdeen. In the 1679 registers of St. Michaels Parish, Barbados, a Mathew Willox and wife are recorded as landowners of some standing. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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