This interesting name is a patronymic i.e. "son of Woolcock", itself a dialectal variant of the medieval male given name Walcock composed of Wal, a pet form of Walter from the Old German Waldhar meaning "rule-people", plus the suffix "cock". This suffix was always added to the nickname of the baptismal name and it indicated the pertness of lusty and swaggering youth. One, Edith, relict of Waleskoc was recorded in "The Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", dated 1273. The surname appears in the latter part of the 14th Century, (see below). On December 7th 1597 Elizabeth Woolcocke and Edward Smith were married in London and on December 25th 1823 Richard Woolcocks, an infant was christened in St. Mary's, St. Marylebone Road, London. The final "s" on the name indicates the genitive and is a reduced form of "son of". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willelmus Walcok, which was dated 1397, "The Poll Tax Returns Records of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard II, "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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.