There are several possible origins for this unusual surname, varients of which are Cockerell, Cockerill, Cockarill and Cockrill. The first is as a patronymic or diminutive of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Cocc or Cocca" - ie. "Little Cocca" or "son of Cocca". The second is as a pure nickname either for one who dressed in a bright and colourful manner, or who expressed the lusty behaviour associated with youthful endevour! The third possibility is as a metonymic job descriptive word for a poultry dealer or breeder of domestic fowls. The name development includes Geoffrey Cokerell, Norfolk Pipe Rolls, (1273), Adam Cokerell, Suffolk, Pipe Rolls (1200) and Elias Cokrell, (1379), Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Cokerel, which was dated 1166, in the "Yorkshire Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Church Builder", 1154 - 1189. 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.