Cocks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Cocks comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It was a name for a person who bore a fancied resemblance to a rooster. It was applied both to early risers and those who strutted proudly. "Thus 'cock' became the general sobriquet of a sharp and forward lad." [1] Alternatively, the name could have been derived as "a term of endearment, a diminutive, the same as ot or kin, used as a termination." [2]

Early Origins of the Cocks family

The surname Cocks was first found in Shropshire where the first record of the family was found the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 as Coc de Slepe.

"Though also scattered about the midland counties, Cox finds its great home in the south of England in the contiguous counties of Dorset and Somerset. It is fairly numerous in the counties of Gloucester, Oxford, and Warwickshire. Rare or absent in the north of England and in the eastern coast counties." [3]

Early History of the Cocks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cocks research. Another 73 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1581, 1547, 1552, 1646, 1727, 1655, 1655, 1734, 1650, 1733, 1703 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Cocks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cocks Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Cocks has undergone many spelling variations, including Cox, Coxe and others.

Early Notables of the Cocks family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Richard Cox (c. 1500-1581), English clergyman, Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Ely, Chancellor of the University of Oxford (1547-1552); Charles Cocks (1646-1727), British Member of Parliament for Droitwich and Worcester; Robert Cox...
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cocks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Cocks family to Ireland

Some of the Cocks family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cocks migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Cocks were among those contributors:

Cocks Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Cocks, who arrived in Virginia in 1651 [4]
  • George Cocks, who landed in Maryland in 1662 [4]
  • John Cocks, who arrived in Maryland in 1662 [4]
  • Abraham Cocks, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1683 [4]
Cocks Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hen Cocks, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [4]
  • Philip Cocks, who landed in New England in 1722 [4]
  • James Cocks, who landed in America in 1772 [4]
Cocks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Albert Cocks, (b. 1872), aged 26, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "Servia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 5th May 1898 en route to New York, USA [5]
  • Mr. Clifford Cocks , (b. 1877), aged 22, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "Umbria" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 18th June 1899 en route to Russell, Colorado, USA [5]
Cocks Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Miss Nellie Cocks, (b. 1877), aged 26, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Oceanic" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 29th April 1903 en route to New York, USA [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Cocks, (b. 1901), aged 3, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 24th September 1904 en route to De Lamar, Idaho, USA [5]
  • Mr. William Cocks, (b. 1868), aged 36, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "St Louis" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 24th April 1904 en route to Salt Lake City, Utah, USA [5]
  • Mrs. Katie Cocks, (b. 1874), aged 30, Cornish labourer travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 24th September 1904 en route to De Lamar, Idaho, USA [5]
  • Miss Minnie Cocks, (b. 1903), aged 9 months, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 24th September 1904 en route to De Lamar, Idaho, USA [5]

Australia Cocks migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cocks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Cocks, British Convict who was convicted in Bedford, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land)1836 [6]
  • Japhia Cocks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [7]
  • Japhia Cocks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "D'Auvergne" in 1839 [8]
  • Ann Cocks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "D'Auvergne" in 1839 [8]
  • William Cocks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Waterloo" in 1840 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Cocks migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Cocks Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Cocks, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Claramont" in 1863
  • Louisa Cocks, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Claramont" in 1863
  • Mr. Henry Cocks, (b. 1858), aged 18, Cornish farm labourer departing on 2nd February 1876 aboard the ship "Countess of Kintore" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 29th April 1876 [10]

West Indies Cocks migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [11]
Cocks Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Cocks, aged 20, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [4]
  • Win Cocks, aged 20, who landed in St Christopher in 1635 [4]
  • Mr. William Cocks, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler traveling aboard the ship "William and John" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [12]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cocks (post 1700) +

  • John C. "Jay" Cocks (b. 1944), American is a film critic and motion picture screenwriter
  • William Willets Cocks (1861-1932), American Republican politician, Member of New York State Senate 2nd District, 1901-02; Member of New York State Assembly from Queens County 3rd District, 1904 [13]
  • T. R. Cocks, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1956 [13]
  • John S. Cocks, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County 16th District, 1855 [13]
  • Cora Cocks, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for California, 1968 [13]
  • William Alfred Cocks (1892-1971), English master clock maker
  • Michael Francis Lovell Cocks (b. 1929), English Labour politician
  • Ronald "Ronnie" Cocks (1943-2017), Maltese footballer, captain of his nation's national football team
  • Charles Cocks (1725-1806), 1st Baron Somers, British politician
  • Frederick Seymour Cocks (1882-1953), British Labour Party Member of Parliament, Member of Parliament for Broxtowe (1929 – 1953)
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Buckinghamshire.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) D'AUVERGNE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839D'Auvergne.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WATERLOO 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Waterloo.htm
  10. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  11. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  12. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  13. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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