Show ContentsHandcock History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

It was among those Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled over Britain that the name Handcock was formed. The name was derived from from the baptismal name for the son of John, which was originally derived from the diminutive form Hann, a popular English name derived from the Flemish Hann, when translated means John. The suffix cock was added to the surname to indicate familiarity.

Early Origins of the Handcock family

The surname Handcock was first found in Yorkshire where one of the first records of the name was Hanecock Birunc who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Warynus Hancok, Robert Hancok, Willelmus Hancok and Agnes Hankok as all living in Yorkshire at that time. [1]

Farther south in Devon, John Hancock was Warden of St Mary's College, Ottery St Mary in 1446.

Early History of the Handcock family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Handcock research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1737, 1793, 1772, 1792, 1820, 1631, 1707, 1692, 1699, 1703, 1707, 1654, 1701, 1692, 1693, 1654, 1726, 1692, 1699, 1676, 1723, 1703, 1714, 1721 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Handcock History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Handcock Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Handcock include Hancock, Hancox, Hancocks, Hancocke, Handcock and others.

Early Notables of the Handcock family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Hancock (1737-1793), president of the Continental Congress, the first signer of the American Declaration of Independence. Because his signature was so legible, the expression "John Hancock" meaning signature evolved. Crang & Hancock, were noted organ builders. John Crang, a Devonshire man, settled in London and became a partner with Hancock, a good voicer of reeds. The latter added new reeds to many of Father Smith's...
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Handcock Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Handcock family to Ireland

Some of the Handcock family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Handcock migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Handcock were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Handcock Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Handcock, who arrived in Virginia in 1718 [2]
  • John Handcock, who landed in Virginia in 1722 [2]

Canada Handcock migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Handcock Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Handcock, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Australia Handcock migration to Australia +

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

Handcock Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Charles Handcock, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1840 [3]
  • Hannah Handcock, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1840 [3]
  • Sarah Handcock, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1840 [3]
  • Henry Handcock, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1840 [3]
  • Martha Handcock, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1840 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Handcock 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:

Handcock Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Enoch Handcock, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blairgowrie" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Handcock (post 1700) +

  • Scott Handcock (b. 1984), English writer, director and producer
  • Albert Edward Handcock (1863-1937), 5th Baron Castlemaine, Irish peer and landowner who held 12,000 acres
  • Richard Handcock (1826-1892), 4th Baron Castlemaine, Irish peer, Lord Lieutenant of Westmeath (1889-1892)
  • Richard Handcock (1791-1869), 3rd Baron Castlemaine, Irish peer and Tory politician
  • Richard Handcock (1767-1840), 2nd Baron Castlemaine, Irish Member of Parliament for Athlone (1800-1801)
  • John Gustavus Handcock (1720-1766), Irish politician, Member of Parliament for Ballyshannon (1761-1766)
  • John Handcock (1755-1786), Irish politician and soldier, Member of Parliament for Philipstown (1776-1783)
  • Frederick Henry Handcock (1815-1847), Irish-born, Australian pastoralist, horse racing enthusiast, and overlander in South Australia
  • Peter Joseph Handcock (1868-1902), British Veterinary Lieutenant in the Bushveldt Carbineers in the Boer War in South Africa

HMAS Sydney II
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William Stanley Handcock, British Lieutenant Commander, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [5]
SS Newfoundland
  • Mr. Levi Handcock, Newfoundlander from Newtown, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he survived

  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. 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)
  3. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LYSANDER 1840. Retrieved from
  4. HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from
  5. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook