The surname of COCKER is a corruption of the name COCKERAM which was a locational name 'of Cockeram' a parish between Lancashire and Garstang. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was derived from the Old English word COCCAN, and literally meant the dweller by a stream. Early records of the name mention Cocreham (without surname) who was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 and John de Kokerham appears in 1349 in County Yorkshire. Thomas Cockram of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Elias Cochram of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. 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. A later instance of the name includes Samuel Cocker who married Rebecca Smith, St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1786. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.
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