COOKE is among the fifty most common names in Ireland. It was brought to various parts of Ireland by settlers in the 17th century, and is now established in all four provinces, with the heaviest distribution in Ulster. The name in Irish is MacDhabhc.
Originally the name was derived from the Old English word Coc, a purveyor of cooked meats, and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. Early records of the name mention Galter Coc, listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. John Cocus, 1273 County Norfolk. Roger le Cook was recorded in County Oxford in the year 1300. Mathew Cocus of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Rachael, daughter of John Cooke was baptised at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1611. Edmund Short married Dorothy Cook, St. George's Chapel, Mayfair London in 1631. James Cook (1728-1779) was the English navigator and explorer, especially of the South Pacific and Australasia. He landed at Botony Bay in 1770, and took possession of Australia for the British Crown. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
The arms are registered at Tinnerany, Granted 20th March 1635.
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