Koke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Koke originated in Cornwall, a region of southwest England that is celebrated in the Arthurian romances of the Middle Ages. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Nickname surnames were rare among the Cornish, they did occasionally adopt names that reflected the physical characteristics or other attributes of the original bearer of the name. The name Koke is a nickname type of surname for a person with a rosy complexion or red hair. Interestingly, the name Koke was originally from the Welsh word coch, which means red.

Alternatively the name could have been Norman from "le Coq or Cocus. William, Gerold, Josceline, Radulphus Coqus or Cocus all appear in Normandy 1180-95. Of these, William and Ralph occur in England 1189." [1]

Early Origins of the Koke family

The surname Koke was first found in Somerset where John le Cok and Henry le Cok were both listed 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [2] The Close Rolls had two listings John a Kok, Close Rolls, 9 Edward I and William le Kok, Close Rolls, 3 Edward I. [3]

John Cok (1392?-1467?), was "Brother of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, born about 1392, probably in or near London, as he was apprenticed to Thomas Lamporte, a goldsmith in Wood Street. In 1417 he was ordained priest, and in 1419 became a brother of St. Bartholomew's Hospital. " [4]

Important Dates for the Koke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Koke research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1679 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Koke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Koke Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Cock, Cocke, Koke, Cocks and others.

Early Notables of the Koke family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Thomas Cocke of Monks Kirby; and Christopher Cock, English instrument maker of the 17th century who supplied microscopes to Robert Hooke. Captain George Cock (d. 1679), "states that in the civil war he 'was employed by the queen mother to negotiate the raising of Lord Newcastle's army...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Koke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Koke migration to the United States

Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Koke or a variant listed above:

Koke Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Koke, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1769 [5]
Koke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Koke, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1812 [5]
  • Maximilian Franz Koke, who landed in America in 1847 [5]
  • Henry Koke, who arrived in America in 1866 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Koke (post 1700)

  • Jeff Koke, American writer and graphic designer
  • K. Koke (b. 1985), stage name of Kevin Georgiou, British rapper

Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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.
  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. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. 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)
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