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Hockerday Coat of Arms / Hockerday Family Crest

The surname of HOCKERDAY was derived from the Old English word 'hoc' a locational name meaning the dweller at the spur of the hill, from residence nearby. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. The name was also given to one who was born on the second Tuesday after Easter Sunday, which in medieval England was an important day, on which rents were paid. It was named Hock-day, and together with Michaelmas, it divided the rural year into its summer and winter halves. From the 14th century it was also an important festival. The acquisition of surnames in Europe during the past eight hundred years has been affected by many factors, including social class and social structure, naming practices in neighbouring cultures, and indigenous cultural tradition. On the whole, the richer and more powerful classes tended to acquire surnames earlier than the working classes and the poor, while surnames were quicker to catch on in urban areas than in more sparsely populated rural areas. These facts suggest that the origin of surnames is associated with the emergence of bureaucracies. As long as land tenure, military service, and fealty were matters of direct relationship between a lord and his vassals, the need did not arise for fixed distinguishing epithets to mark out one carl from another. But as societies became more complex, and as such matters as the management of tenure and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to have a more complex system of nomenclature to distinguish one individual from another reliably and unambiguously. Early records of the name mention John Hockedez, who was recorded in County Suffolk in the year 1100, and Simon Hockede, was documented in 1206 in Berkshire. Henry Hockey appears in Surrey in 1296. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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