Show ContentsWillcocks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Willcocks is a name that dates far back into the mists of early British history to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes. It is derived from William or Wilhelm. Tracing the origin of the name further, we found the name Willcocks was originally derived from the Germanic elements will, meaning resolve, helm, meaning protection, and cock or cox, an affectionate or diminutive suffix commonly used in ancient times. With the additional suffix, cox, the name was taken to mean the son of little William. [1]

Early Origins of the Willcocks family

The surname Willcocks was first found in Lancashire where one of the first records of the name was listed simply as Wilcok with no personal name in the Assize Rolls of that shire in 1246. Wilcoc was listed in the Assize Rolls of Cheshire in 1286 and William Wylecok was listed in Somerset in the Assize Rolls of 1254. Quite of few of the family were found in Yorkshire as shown by John Wilcokes who was listed there in 1316. [2]

By the time of the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, there were numerous entries for the name including those with the "son" extension: Richard Wilokson; Adam Wylkokson; Raddulfus Wycok; and Willelmus Wilkocson. [3]

Further to the north in Scotland, entries for the family were later. "Adam Willicok was admitted burgess of Aberdeen in 1578, and Alexander Willicok in Fechill was bewitched in 1597. " [4]

Early History of the Willcocks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willcocks research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1480, 1541, 1558, 1588, 1929, 1515, 1585, 1562, 1549, 1608, 1549, 1566, 1673, 1756, 1673, 1724, 1791, 1723 and 1736 are included under the topic Early Willcocks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Willcocks Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Willcocks are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Willcocks include: Wilcox, Wilcocks, Willock, Wallock and others.

Early Notables of the Willcocks family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Nicolaus Wollick (c. 1480-1541), English music theorist Robert Willcox (1558-1588), was an English Catholic martyr (one of the Oaten Hill Martyrs) who was hung, drawn and quartered; he was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929. John Willock (or Willocks or Willox) (c. 1515-1585), was a Scottish reformer, a native of Ayrshire and was educated at the University of Glasgow. In 1562 he became rector of All Saints Church, Loughborough in Leicestershire. [5] Thomas Wilcox (1549?-1608), was an English Puritan divine, born about 1549, and was 'fellow or scholar...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Willcocks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Willcocks family to Ireland

Some of the Willcocks family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Willcocks migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Willcocks or a variant listed above:

Willcocks Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Willcocks, who arrived in Hartford, Connecticut in 1635 [6]
  • Mathew Willcocks, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [6]

Canada Willcocks migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Willcocks Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Elisha Willcocks Jr., U.E., (Elijah, Wilcox, Willcox) who settled in Canada c. 1784 [7]
Willcocks Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Ann Willcocks, (b. 1820), aged 35, Cornish settler departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, she died in the sinking [8]
  • Mr. Edward Willcocks, (b. 1843), aged 12, Cornish settler departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he died in the sinking [8]
  • Miss Sarah A. Willcocks, (b. 1844), aged 11, Cornish settler departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, she died in the sinking [8]

Australia Willcocks migration to Australia +

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

Willcocks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Japhet Willcocks, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Caledonia" in 19th June 1822, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • William Willcocks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1848 [10]
  • Mr. William Willcocks, (b. 1805), aged 43, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years for theft, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 1st January 1850, arriving in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia, he died in 1850 aboard the ship [11]
  • William Willcocks, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Hooghly" [12]

Contemporary Notables of the name Willcocks (post 1700) +

  • William Willcocks, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County, 1793-94 [13]
  • Henry Willcocks, American politician, Postmaster at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1795-96 [13]
  • General Sir James James Willcocks GCB, GCMG, KCSI, DSO (1857-1926), British Army officer who spent most of his career in India and Africa, Governor of Bermuda (1917-1922)
  • Dianne Marie Willcocks CBE (b. 1945), British academic, Vice-Chancellor of York St John University
  • Sir William Willcocks (1852-1932), British irrigation engineer who proposed and built the first Aswan Dam
  • Lieutenant General Sir Michael Willcocks KCB, CVO (b. 1944), British General, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod for the UK House of Lords
  • Joseph Willcocks (1773-1814), Irish-born, Canadian publisher, politician and soldier who was charged with treason during the War of 1812
  • Jonathan Willcocks (b. 1953), British composer and conductor of the Portsmouth Choral Union and Chichester Singers
  • Sir David Valentine Willcocks CBE, MC (1919-2015), British choral conductor and composer, Director of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge (1957-1974), father of Jonathan Willcocks

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. 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)
  7. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  8. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th November 2020). Retrieved from
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1848. Retrieved from
  11. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th September 2020). Retrieved from
  12. South Australian Register Wednesday 21st February 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Rodney 1855. Retrieved
  13. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from on Facebook