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Surname Hockley - Meaning and Origin

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Hockley: What does the surname Hockley mean?

The last name Hockley is an English surname. It likely originated from the words "hoc" and "ley" which combine to mean a 'woodland clearing'. It is believed to have first been used in Warwickshire in the 12th century.

The name then spread further throughout Britain, with people bearing the surname settling in the Midlands and parts of the North East. It was then adopted by people living in the United States in the late 19th century.

The word hoc, in addition to denoting a cleared wooded area, also has Norse origins meaning ‘high hill’. It is possible that hilltops were left cleared for building purposes and defense. As such, it is fitting that some communities adopted the surname to indicate a link to the area.

Other possible meanings may come from the Old English words ‘hoc’ and ‘leah’, which together refer to a hillside or slope. It could refer to someone who lived in a village located on a hill.

Regardless of where the surname originated from, it is evident that the last name Hockley is a proud one tied to British history. It is also possible that the use of the surname is a recent import, as it is known that many British names were brought over to the United States throughout the 19th and 20th century.

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Hockley: Where does the name Hockley come from?

The last name Hockley is most commonly found on the United Kingdom where it originates from. The earliest records of Hockley date back to the 12th century in the North East of England, particularly around Yorkshire. The name is believed to have been derived from a location name, of which the exact origin is unknown but may relate to either a “valley” or “hollow”.

Nowadays in the United Kingdom, Hockley is still most commonly found in Yorkshire. There is also a high concentration of name-holders in the Midlands, with north and south London having a good spanning of Hockleys.

Hockley is also prevalent throughout the other countries of the British Isles, namely Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the Channel Islands. Furthermore, due to emigration the name has spread to North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

Interestingly, an alternative spelling of the last name Hockley is Haulkley, with both representing the same surname. This may be due to dialectal differences between the Northern English and Scotland, despite not being very popular today.

Variations of the surname Hockley

The surname Hockley is an English habitational surname, derived from a location in West Midlands of the same name and spelled in a variety of ways. Variant spellings of the surname Hockley include Hockeley, Hokely, Hockly, Hoxley, and Hoxly, while variations of the name include Hocklea, Hocklee, Hockleigh, Hockelay and Hocklie.

Surnames in the Hockley line share a common origin, but most of these names are localized to the West Midlands area. The oldest record of the Hockley name dates back to the 11th century, when the spelling appeared as Hococlaie. The spelling evolved into the Norman spelling of Hokeleia by the early 13th century. This spelling eventually evolved into Hockley around the 14th century.

The surname may also have derived from the Middle English word 'hoc' and the Olde English word 'lēah' meaning a clearing or a meadow.

Hockley's can also be found in Old English records such as the Hundredorum Rolls from 1273, where Simon Hockeley is listed as a burgess from the town of Newcastle-on-Tyne. Other instances of the name are also found in England prior to the 17th century, where Henry Hockley was documented in the 1608 edition of William Camden's “Britannia.

The popularity of the surname Hockley has spread to other parts of the world. Variations of the surname in the United States include Hockley, Hoxley, Huckleby, and Hookley, while variants in Germany include Höckle, Höckel, Höckl, and Höckleman. In France, variants of the surname have been modified to Huc, Hucke, Huckely, and Huquey.

Famous people with the name Hockley

  • Thomas Hockley: a Member of the Parliament of Canada from 1872 to 1874.
  • Major General Herbert Hockley: a British general officer who was the Commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada from 1911 to 1914.
  • Stephen Hockley: a 19th-century painter, illustrator, and decorative artist.
  • Sir George Hockley: an English poet and writer of the 19th century.
  • Geoffrey Hockley: a British composer and artist.
  • William Hockley: a British engineer and inventor.
  • Anne Hockley: an Australian actress who has performed in television, theatre, and film.
  • Jack Hockley: a British diplomat and colonial administrator.
  • Barry J. Hockley: the current Canadian ambassador to the United Nations.
  • Sir William-Henry Hockley: a British general and military theorist.
  • Old Tom Hockley: an English cricketer.
  • Doug Hockley: an Americans artist and sculptor.
  • Joe Hockley: a British film producer and cinematographer.
  • Desmond Hockley: an Australian frame maker and conservationist.
  • Alan Hockley: an English organic chemist.

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