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Family spelling variants includes Cox, Cooker, Cock, Coke, Cooke

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COOK Family History


This distinguished surname, with forty entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography", and having no less than fifty Coats of Arms, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an occupational name for a cook, seller of cooked meats, or the keeper of an eating house. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "coc", ultimately from the Latin "cocus", cook, and the surname has a particularly early first recording (see below). It also has the distinction of being recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, when one Galter Coc was noted in Essex. The surname is also widespread in early Scottish records...


Cook (Variants: Cooke, Coke, Cock, Cooker, Cox) – An English occupational name for a cook, a seller of cooked meats, or a keeper of an eating-house. From Old English ‘coc’ deriving from Latin ‘coquus’. Middle English cok , coke , cook , couk , cuk(e). In Irish and Scottish, the surname usually identical in origin with the English name, but in some cases a reduced Anglicised form of Gaelic Mac Cúg ‘son of Hugo’ (McCook).

The earliest mention of the name comes over a century before the Domesday Book, in an Anglo-Saxon will dating from approximately 950, where one Aelfsige Se Coc is mentioned. Other bearers relative to the name were Walter le Kuc, 1260 in Assize Rolls (Cambs); Henry Coke, 1279 in Assize Rolls (Somerset); Jacobi Cok, 1381 in Poll Tax (Bristol, Gloucs).

Captain James Cook (1728-1779), born in Yorkshire, was a famous navigator who explored the St. Lawrence, the shores of Newfoundland, circumnavigated the globe charting New Zealand, Australia and explored much of the Pacific and Southern Ocean. His last voyage was to Hawaii in 1779, where the natives killed him.

Mr. Richard Cook, (b. 1809), an English convict born in Probus, Cornwall, UK was convicted at aged 23 in Bodmin on 3rd January 1832. He was sentenced for 14 year for stealing wheat and was transported aboard the ship "Atlas" in 1833 settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia.

In 1891, the population was widespread across England and Wales with a frequency of 58,047 and 3,593 in Scotland. In 1881, it was recorded as a top surname by occurrence in the Bristol area of Gloucestershire. It was also a top surname in Kent with a popular 2,453 occurrences.

In 1881, Agricultural Labourer, Labourer and Farmer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Cook. The most common Cook occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer and a less common occupation being Coal Miner.

SOURCES: 1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Bristol 1881 Cencus in Kent

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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Anthony Barrett

(Part 1 of 3) The Cook name has a long history in the British Isles, but now DNA and some recorded history says their origin is from the Emerald Island. The Cook story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup B4] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Cook surname origin is from Clan Domnaill [DNA Tribe R1b-L513, Subgroup B1] and relations who remain in Ireland take the modern surname (O’)Donnelly, McDonald and Donohue in Ireland.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 2 of 3) According to research, the Domnaill name is also found in Brittany, France. It is a very old name which appears in the 5th century Roman inscriptions as Dumnovellaunos in Brittany meaning “Deep Valour” equivalent to Irish Domhnaill. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Cook story begins in pre-history Ireland then moves to Wales where the family can be traced back to their Welsh tribe Cydifor Fawr. An ancestor and many of his kin will then move to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit


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