Hocking History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Hocking emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. One of the most common classes of surname is the patronymic surname, which was usually derived from the first name of the person's father. Flemish surnames of this type are often characterized by the diminutive suffix -kin, which became very frequent in England during the 14th century. The surname Hocking is derived from Hocc, a pet form of the Old English personal name Hocca. This pet form is supplemented by the diminutive suffix -el. [1]

Another source claims "the Hokings, according to Ferguson, were a Frisian people, and derived their name from one Hoce, mentioned in the poem of Beowulf." [2]

And another source notes "Hawkins, Hockin, and Hocking are familiar Cornish variants of Hawkin." [3]

Early Origins of the Hocking family

The surname Hocking was first found in Cornwall where the first record of the family was Robery Hokyn who was listed on the Ministers' Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall in 1297. A few years later, John Hokyn was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1327. Many years later, Christopher Hockins and Abel Hockinge were listed on the Protestant Returns for Devon in 1642. [1]

"There are two gentlemen's seats in the parish of [Lewannick, Cornwall], both of which are ancient; Trewanta Hall, the residence of William Hocken, Esq. and Treliske or Trelaske, the property and abode of Samuel Archer, Esq." [4]

Early History of the Hocking family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hocking research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 159 and 1591 are included under the topic Early Hocking History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hocking Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Hocking, Hockin, Hockings, Hockins, Hokings and many more.

Early Notables of the Hocking family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Hocking Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Hocking migration to the United States +

A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Hocking:

Hocking Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Hocking and his son arrived in New York in 1842
  • James Hocking, aged 8, who arrived in New York, NY in 1842 [5]
  • John Hocking, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • Richard Hocking, who landed in Morgan County, Illinois in 1852 [5]
  • David Hocking, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871 [5]

Canada Hocking migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hocking Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Edward Hocking who settled in Canada in 1840-1900

Australia Hocking migration to Australia +

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

Hocking Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Hocking, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 24th March 1787, sentenced for 7 years for stealing a cow, property of Edward Coade, transported aboard the ship "Neptune" on 19th January 1790 to New South Wales, Australia [6]
Hocking Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Hocking (b. 1770), aged 60, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 12th January 1830, sentenced for life for stealing a goose from John Coryton Roberts, transported aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" on 1st April 1830 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [7]
  • Mr. John Hocking, (b. 1770), aged 60 born in Mevagissey, Cornwall, UK convicted in Bodmin on 12th January 1830, sentenced for life for stealing a goose, transported aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1830 to Van Diemen's Land, Tasmania, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Joseph Hocking, Cornish settler convicted in Cornwall, UK on 29th July 1837, sentenced for 7 years for obtaining clothing under false pretenses, transported aboard the ship "Emma Eugenia" on 2nd November 1837 to New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mary Hocking, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eden" in 1838 [9]
  • Nicholas Hocking, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Cleveland" in 1839 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Hocking 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:

  • Mr. John Hocking, (b. 1848), aged 30, Cornish farm labourer departing on 8th August 1878 aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" going to Marlborough, New Zealand arriving in port in November 1878 [11]
  • Mrs. Margaret Hocking, (b. 1853), aged 25, Cornish settler departing on 8th August 1878 aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" going to Marlborough, New Zealand arriving in port in November 1878 [11]
Hocking Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Hocking, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Bank of England" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 28th December 1855 [12]
  • Mrs. Hocking, British settler travelling from London, UK with son aboard the ship "Bank of England" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 28th December 1855 [12]
  • Mr. Nathaniel Hocking, (b. 1842), aged 21, Cornish farm labourer departing on 18th June 1863 aboard the ship "Accrington" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 5th September 1863 [13]
  • Nathanial Hocking, aged 21, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Accrington" in 1863
  • Emily Hocking, aged 16, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Accrington" in 1863
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Hocking (post 1700) +

  • Dennis Lee "Denny" Hocking (b. 1970), American former Major League Baseball utility player
  • William Ernest Hocking (1873-1966), American philosopher
  • T. C. Hocking, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1912 [14]
  • S. B. Hocking, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Dakota, 1944 (alternate), 1960 [14]
  • Joseph Hocking, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Montana, 1972 [14]
  • John R. Hocking, American politician, Representative from Michigan 11th District, 1994 [14]
  • Silas Kitto Hocking (1850-1935), English novelist and Methodist preacher from Cornwall
  • Justin Hocking (b. 1974), Canadian retired professional NHL ice hockey defenceman
  • Belinda Jane Hocking (b. 1990), Australian two-time bronze medalist backstroke swimmer
  • Gary Stuart Hocking (1937-1962), Grand Prix motorcycle road racing world champion from Rhodesia
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Royal Oak
  • John Roberts Hocking (d. 1939), British Stoker 2nd Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [16]
RMS Titanic
  • Mrs. Elizabeth "Eliza" Hocking, (née Neads), aged 54, English Second Class passenger from Penzance, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 4 [17]
  • Mr. Richard George Hocking (d. 1912), aged 23, American Second Class passenger from Akron, Ohio who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [17]
  • Miss Ellen "Nellie" Hocking, aged 20, English Second Class passenger from Penzance, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 4 [17]
  • Mr. Samuel James Metcalfe Hocking (d. 1912), aged 36, English Second Class passenger from Devonport, Devon who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [17]


The Hocking Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Hoc in loco Deas rupes
Motto Translation: Here God is a rock.


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_convicts.pdf
  8. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 30th May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/tasmanian_convicts_cornish.pdf
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) EDEN 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838Eden.htm
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CLEVELAND 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Cleveland.htm
  11. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  15. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  16. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  17. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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