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About the study

The Peacock One-Name study began in 1999. While sorting through my mother's papers after her death I found a hand-drawn family tree for the Peacock family. The focus of the tree was the family of my mother's first cousin, Kenneth Peacock, a doctor, whom my mother first met in the 1930s when they were both students at the University of Manitoba. Kenneth, I discovered, had settled in Vancouver where my parents eventually located him and his family. Kenneth's oldest daughter, Joan, had married Robert Cave-Browne-Cave, a genealogist with connections to the Cave One-Name Study.

My mother's mother had deserted her husband, Mark Stanley Peacock, before my mother was born. As a result, my mother grew up fatherless, and could only speculate about her paternal origins. With the information from the family tree, I managed to locate my Peacock second cousins and discovered a wealth of relations I had been denied on account of my grandmother's silence.

Variant names

peacocc (7th century)


Paucoc (1194)

Pacoc (1327)

Peacock, Pocock, Peacocke, Peecock and Pacock

Name origin

The Peacock surname is a descriptive one. According to 'The Penguin Dictonary of Surnames' by Basil Cottle, Peacock is Old English, early used as a first name, but possibly also for arrogance, for winning a peacock-prize in athletics, or as a place (locative sign) name.

From The Internet Surname Database:

Recorded as Peacock, Pocock, Peacocke, Peecock and Pacock, this is an early English surname. It derives from the pre 7th Century word 'peacocc', meaning literally a peacock, and was originally either an occupational name for a breeder of these famous birds, or a nickname for a man who wore especially bright clothes or possibly given the robust humour of the Middle Ages, the complete reverse! Interestingly Pecoc as a personal name, there were few if any surnames before the 12th century, is first recorded in the Domesday Book for the county of Essex in 1086. The surname was first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century (see below), and other early recordings include Richard Pocok in the Assize Court Rolls of Somerset in 1225, and Robert Pecok, in the Subsidy Rolls of Essex in 1327. Post medieval recordings include William Peacock who sailed from the port of London on the ship 'Hopewell' bound for Virginia, New England, in 1635. He was one of the early settlers to enter what was to become ultimately America. Other interesting recordings include William Peacocke in the register of students of Oxford University in 1610, and the marriage of Edward Pocock and Ann Rogers on February 6th 1645, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Paucoc. This was dated 1194, in the pipe rolls of the county of Cornwall, during the reign of King Richard 1st known to history as 'Lionheart', 1189 - 1199. 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. � Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2013

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Historical occurrences of the name

From 'Swaledale: The Spirit Speaks Loud' by Sandra R. Wood:
Anthony Peacock of Arkengarthdale was among those in Swaledale who took part in the Pilgrimage of Grace, which began in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire in 1536. He was later hanged as an example against the rebellion, but primarily because he opposed William Conyers, Lord of Marske Manor, when he had attempted to annex Arkengarthdale's common to his Manor.

Richard Peacock M.P. (1820-1889) Beyer-Peacock Locomotive Foundry Gorton, Manchester

Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866) Poet