This picturesque and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a dialectal variant of the locational name Wollcotts, from a place so called in Somerset. The name is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "wiella", meaning a spring, with "cot", a small house (later in medieval times known as a "cottage"); hence, "a small house by a spring". In the modern idiom the spellings include Woollacott, Wollcot, Woolcot, Woollcot, Woollcott and Woolcock. Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname was first recorded in Church Registers of the 16th Century (see below), and other recordings include: Henry Wolcott, a clothier, who was an early settler in Windsor, Connecticut, New England, in 1636, and the marriage of John Woollacott and Sarah Littlewood on December 10th 1796, at St. Marylebone, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Wolkott, which was dated 7th June 1579, recorded at Christchurch, Greyfriars, Newgate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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