The surname of WILLCOCKS was derived from the Old English name Willoc meaning 'rare'. It was a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Willock'. In the Middle Ages the name was used as a diminutive of the given name William. Rannolfus filius Willoc was recorded in the year 1219 in County Lancashire, and William Willoc appears in 1221 in Worcester. The name was taken to Scotland by early settlers, and John Willok was recorded in the year 1506 in Scotland, and John Willok witnessed a charter in Dun in 1513. John Villok was the vicar of Stracathro in 1525, and Alexander Willok was a witness in Kirkwall in the year 1545. Scottish surnames fall into two quite distinct groups; those of Gaelic origin and those of English origin. The Gaelic language was brought to Scotland from Ireland around the 5th century AD, displacing the British language (an early form of Welsh) previously spoken there as well as elsewhere. Gaelic was the main language of that part of Scotland not subject to English influence, a rather more extenisve area than the present day Highlands and Islands, where Gaelic is still spoken in places. It is from these northwestern and western area of Scotland that surnames of Gaelic origin, now almost universally Anglicized in form, have been disseminated around the world.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according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans.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 Gilbert Willox, who was a 'wricht' and he received payment in 1584 'for biging of the keyheid port' of Aberdeen. James Willcox was admitted burgess of the burgh in 1611.
George Willox and William Willox from Alvah were killed in the first Great War, Wellox 1823.
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