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Descendants of Thomas Hancocke from Abt 1525

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It is believed that surnames (or family last names, sometimes first names in some Asia cultures) came into existence about as early as 2000 years ago with the Romans. Nevertheless, some parts of the world didn't start using surnames until the early 1900s. The surname was usually derived from either the name of the person's father, location where they came from, occupation or a predominate physical feature. Surnames came into use for legal reasons to be able to distinguish among people with the same given name. It also showed an association with a specific family. It can be very useful to know the origin of a family name as it can help locate family records and allow a better understanding of family customs.

The surname "Hancock" has many forms including Hancock, Hancox, Handcock and Handcocks, Hancock is an English patronymic surname. It derives from the personal name "Hann", itself a form of the early John or, Johan, themselves from the Hebrew "Yochanan", meaning "Jehovah has favoured (me with a son)" or possibly "may Jehovah favour (this child)". To this was added the English suffix "-cock", a popular ending deriving from the pre 7th century word "cocca", a nickname applied to a young lad. Curiously it was as a personal name that "Hanecok" was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire in 1276, although the surname itself first appears at much the same time as shown below. These early recordings include John Hanicokes in the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield in Yorkshire in 1316, whilst Warynus Hancok and Agnes Hankokwyf were mentioned in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire in 1379. Thomas Hancock (1786 - 1865) was founder of the India rubber trade in England, and his brother Walter (1799 - 1852), invented the first steam engines for road traffic 1824 - 1836. Tony Hancock from Birmingham, who died in 1968, was regarded as the leading comedian of his day. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Hancoc. This was dated 1274 in the "Hundred Rolls of Shropshire", during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.


Prepared by:

John R. Taylor
839 Dogwood Cir.
Birmingham, AL 35244

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