This interesting surname of English origin is derived from the Middle English nickname from "Bere" meaning "Bear", a short form of the various compound personal names with this first element for example Bernard, plus "cok" "cock". The bear has generally been regarded with a mixture of fear and amusement, due to the strength and unpredictable temper on the one hand and its clumsy gait on the other, the term cock being applied to a young lad who strutted proudly like a cock. Both these qualities are no doubt reflected in the nickname. The surname dates back to the late 16th Century, (see below). One Richard, son of Frauncis Barcock, was christened on August 31st 1595, at St. Bride, Fleet St., London. Alice Barcocke married John Saueley on September 30th 1607, at St. Dunstan, Stepney, and Sarah, daughter of Edward and Jane Barcock, was christened at Allhallows London Wall, on February 20th 1620. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Barcocke, christened, which was dated 1588, St. Bride, Fleet St., London, during the reign of Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.