Recorded as Westcot and Westcott, and the dialectals Wescot, Wescott, and Wesket, this is an English surname. It is both topographical and locational, and derives from the pre 7th century Olde English words 'west cota'. This can mean either somebody who dwelt in a cottage to the west of the main village, or perhaps lay at the west end of the village, or from one of the villages actually called Westcott or Westcote in the counties of Devonshire, Berkshire, Gloucester, Warwick, Buckingham and Surrey. The surname is ancient being one of the earliest surnames recorded and has a similarly long heraldic record. Early examples of the surname recording include Sir Thomas Westcote of Westcote in Devon and also Westcote in Worcester. He was recorded in 1465 during the reign of Edward 1V of York, also known as the 'Self Proclaimed' king. Other examples of the surname development include the recordings of Robert atte Westcote in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Sussex in 1327, Dennys Westcott at St. Columb Major, in Cornwall, in 1594, and Margrett Wescott at St Michael's Cornhill, in the city of London in 1611. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Turburtus de Westcota. This was dated 1170, in the County Pipe Rolls of Berkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as 'The Church Builder', 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.