This interesting surname, with variant spellings Norcott, Norcutt, Norkutt, Norkett, Narracott etc., is of English locational origin from any of the various places named with the old English pre 7th Century "north" meaning "north", plus "cot", a cottage or shelter. These places include Northcott in the Tiverton district of Devonshire, and Norcott in Gloucestershire and Hertfordshire. An old established Devonshire family of the name trace their descent from Galfridus Miles, who lived in the manor of Northcote in that county circa 1103. Early recordings of the surname include William de Nordcote, the 1205 "Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire"; Amyas de Northcote the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire and John atte Northcote, (Sussex, 1296). Notable namebearers include Sir John Northcote, first baronet, (1599 - 1679), sheriff of Devonshire, 1626 - 1627 and M.P., for Ashburton, in 1641, also Sir Stafford Henry Northcote, first Earl of Iddesleigh, (1818 - 1887), M.P. for North Devon in 1866 and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1874 - 1880. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Northicote, witness, which was dated 1199, in the "The Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire", during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "Richard the Lionheart" 1189 - 1199. 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.