This interesting and unusual surname is of Flemish origin, and is an occupational name for a cook, deriving from the Middle Dutch "kok, cok", cook, with the fused definite article "de". Cognate with the German "koch", and the Old French "keu, cu", the word derives ultimately from the Latin "coquus", cook. In medieval times the term "cook" was also applied to the keeper of an eating house, as well as to the seller of cooked meats. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname, variously spelt De Cock and De Kock, with an earlier form "Coecke" is well recorded in Belgian Church Registers from the mid 16th Century. Entries include: the birth of Jacobus De Kock, son of Huybrecht De Kock and Magdalena Laermans, at Langdorp, Brabant, on January 19th 1619, and the marriage of Clement De Cock and Catherine Kumps at Hoeilaart, Brabant, on August 12th 1783. The name appears in France as Decock, Dekok and Decoq. On November 10th 1740, Genevieve Decoq and Nicholas Hautams were married at St. Germain-en-Laye, Seine-et-Oise, and on September 28th 1754, John Christopher, son of Thomas and Mary Deacock, was christened at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maijken Coecke, which was dated 1563, marriage to Pieter Bruegel, at Brussel, Brabant, Belgium, during the reign of Philip 11 of Spain, 1556 - 1598. 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.