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Laycock Coat of Arms / Laycock Family Crest

Laycock Coat of Arms / Laycock Family Crest

The surname of LAYCOCK was a locational name 'of Laycock' now a suburb of the town of Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, one of the five manors into which the town was divided. The name was originally derived from the Old English word LACOK, and literally meant the dweller by the stream, from residence nearby. The name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as LACOC. Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared). Edward I was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs, and Richard III. was called 'Crouchback' owing to his deformed shoulder. Other records of the name mention William Lacock who was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) .Johanna Lakkoc, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances include John Painter and Dorothy Laycock who were married at St. Peter, Cornhill, London in the year 1630 and William Bartholomew and Ann Laycock were married at St. Antholin, London in the year 1672. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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