Show ContentsCockaker History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Cockaker family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Somerset, where they lived in either East or West Coker. Both are parishes, in the union of Yeovil, hundred of Houndsborough. [1]

It is generally believed that the family was originally Norman and claim descent from the "Mandevilles from the castle and barony of Manneville or Magneville, in the Cotentin. Geoffry de Manneville came 1066 to England, and received a great barony in Essex. " One of his sons, William Mandeville of Coker, Somerset, paid scutage for that lordship in 1203. "Sir John de Mandeville was Lord of Coker 1275, and had Robert de Mandeville, whose sister and heir sold Coker to the Courtenays. Robert de Coker, brother of Sir John, witnessed a charter of Robert de Mandeville regarding Coker. His descendants long held Coker. " [2]

Early Origins of the Cockaker family

The surname Cockaker was first found in Somerset where there is an East, and West Coker. North Coker no longer exists. The place name dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Cocre, part of the Houdsborough hundred and was originally the name of a stream there, a Celtic river-name meaning "crooked, winding." [3]

East Coker was the second poem of T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets and was directly connected to Eliot's ancestry and East Coker's church was later to house Eliot's ashes.

A scan of early rolls revealed John de Coker, Somerset, 1 Edward III; and William de Coker, Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 also included Thomas Coker, Somerset; and Adam Coker, Essex. [5]

Early History of the Cockaker family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cockaker research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1523, 1607, 1563, 1617, 1698, 1656, 1660, 1683, 1734, 1722, 1727, 1617, 1697, 1656, 1646 and 1647 are included under the topic Early Cockaker History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cockaker Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Coker, Coaker, Cokers and others.

Early Notables of the Cockaker family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Coker (c. 1523-1607), of Mappowder, Dorset, Member of Parliament for Bletchingley in 1563. He "describes himself in his 'Survey of Dorsetshire ' as belonging to the younger branch of 'the antient and well-respected familie of Cokers,' who were beholden to Coker in Somersetshire for their name, but who were then dwelling at Mappowder in Dorsetshire (Survey, p. 98). According to the pedigree of the Cokers of Mappowder, inserted in Hutchins's 'Dorset...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cockaker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cockaker family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Cockaker or a variant listed above were: Robert Coker who sailed on the " Mary and John" and settled in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1632; John Coker settled in Virginia in 1623; another John arrived in New England in 1775. The scion of the distinguished family of the U.S.A. was James Lide Coker of Darlington, South Carolina..

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) on Facebook