Recorded as Northcote, Northcott, Norcott, Norcutt, Norkutt, Norkett, and Narracott this is a English surname. It is locational 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, in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in the year 1205; Amyas de Northcott, in the Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1273, and John atte Northcote, of Sussex, in 1296. A notable namebearer was Sir John Northcote, (1599 - 1679), the sheriff of Devonshire, 1626 - 1627 and M.P., for Ashburton, in 1641. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas de Northicote. This was dated 1199, in the Assize Court rolls of the county of Staffordshire, during the reign of King Richard 1st of England, 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.