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Maccorkell Coat of Arms / Maccorkell Family Crest

MacCORKILL was of Irish and Scots Gaelic origin, cork being a 'purple dye prepared from litchens', a name given to someone who either dyed cloth or who sold the dye. The name was derived from the Gaelic O'Corcra. They are a branch of the Scottish Clan Gunn, and in the Isle of Man the name is spelt as Corkhill. The name has for centuries been found in Furness and Yorkshire. Early records of the name mention Geoffrey Cork in 1278. Sibil Corker of Ulverston was listed in the Wills of Chester in 1584. John Watkins and Margary Corker were married at St. Antholin, London in the year 1629, and Anne, daughter of John Corker was baptised at St. Mary. Ulverston in 1705. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. 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according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans.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. Other records of the name mention Margaret Corker who was listed in the Lancashire Wills at Richmond in 1722, and John Burt and Martha Corker were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1808.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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