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Hancock Family History
Family spelling variants include Handcock, Ancock, Hancox.
There are approximately 112,273 Hancock family members around the world. In general you can double this figure to include those related to the Hancock names to allow for those connected to the name through maiden name connections.
It is estimated that the largest group of Hancock family members live USA with 66,909 (59.6%) members, England with 22,739 (20.3%), Australia with 12,188 (10.9%), Canada with 4,688 (4.2%), New Zealand with 1,749 (1.6%), South Africa with 1,602 (1.4%), Wales with 1,588 (1.4%), Scotland with 537 (0.5%) and Ireland with 273 (0.2%) members.
An English relationship name from a pet form of the personal name Hann, short for Johan (John) or Hanry (Henry). From the Hebrew "Yochanan", meaning "Jehovah has favoured (me with a son)" or possibly "may Jehovah favour (this child)". The English suffix "-cock" was added, which is a popular ending deriving from the pre 7th century word "cocca", a nickname applied to a young lad.
In Dutch, from Middle Dutch hanecoc ‘winkle’, ‘periwinkle’ (a type of shellfish), possibly an occupational name for someone sold shellfish.
Early bearers of surname include: Thomas Hancoc, 1274 in Hundred Rolls (Shrops); John Hancokes, 1316 in Wakefield Court Rolls (Yorks); Johanne Hanecok, 1377 in Poll Tax (Canterbury, Kent); John Hancokke, 1447 in Feet of Fines (Leics); Laurencius Hancocke, 1562 in Parish Registers (Barthomley, Cheshire); Thomas Handcocke, 1632 in Parish Registers (Rothwell, WR Yorks).
In 1891, there were 14,761 occurrences in England and Wales and a fewer 29 in Scotland.
In 1881, the surname was widespread, especially Staffordshire and South West England. In the South Western county of Devon, it was a top surname by total occurrence in Plymouth district with 117 occurrences.
In 1881, the most common Hancock occupation in the UK was Coal Mine, along with Farmer and Agricultural Labourer reported as the top 3 reported jobs worked by Hancock. A less common occupation was Labourer.
Tony Hancock (1924-1968), was an English comedian, best known for his BBC series Hancock’s Half Hour during the 1950s and early 1960s, first broadcasted on radio from 1954, then television from 1956.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Devon
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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