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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(Sleaford; Edmond Laycock, Esq., M.D., 1770—1820). Ar. a chev. betw. three cocka sa. Crest—A cock ar. resting the dexter claw on a gauntlet ppr.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Laycock Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Laycock Origin:


Origins of Laycock:

This unique name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a geographical surname acquiring from either Lacock in Wiltshire, near Chippenham, or Laycock in West Yorkshire near Keighley. The place in Wiltshire was listed as "Lacok" in the Saxon Chartulary of 854, and as "Lacoc" in the Domesday Book of 1086. Laycock in Yorkshire was also listed in the Domesday Book as "Lacoc." Both places share similar meanings and derivations, which is "(the place) by the watercourse," from the Olde English pre 7th Century "lacuc," which means water course, a derivative of "lacu," which means stream, brook. Geographical surnames derived by the king of the palace, and particularly by those old settlers of a place who had shifted to another area, frequently to seek of work, and who were well recognized by the name of their mother town. Three new types of the surname were noted in the Yorkshire Census Tax Returns of 1379 like Johanna Lakkoc, Thomas de Lacokke, and Johannes de Laccok. One Robert Laycock was a first traveler to the New World colonies, departing from London in the "Ann and Elizabeth" in April 1635, bound for the Barbadoes.


More common variations are: Layccock, Laycocke, Lacock, Laycok, Lycock, Leacock, Lawcock, Leycock, La Cock, Laycook.


The origins of the surname Laycock appeared in Yorkshire where people held a family seat from old times. Someone say better before the invasion of Normans and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings 1066 A.D.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Ralph de Laycok, dated about 1247, in the "Assize Rolls of Staffordshire." It was during the time of King Henry III who was known to be the “The Frenchman," dated 1216 - 1272. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.


Many of the people with surname Laycock had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Laycock landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th and 19th. Some of the people with the name Laycock who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Robert Laycock and Robert Laycock, both came to Barbados in the same year 1635. Mary Laycock, who landed in Maryland in 1674.

The following century saw more Laycock surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Laycock who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Thomas Laycock, who arrived in Morgan County, Illinois in 1838. Adam, David, Hugh, James, John, Martha, and William Laycock, all came to Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.


Some of the individuals with the surname Laycock who landed in Australia in the 19th century included George Laycock, English convict from Wiltshire, who shifted aboard the "Argyle" in March 1831,

settling in Van Diemen‘s Land, Australia. Thomas Laycock arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Hyderabad." William Laycock arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aurora." Richard Laycock arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "General Hewett."


Some of the population with the surname Laycock who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included John Laycock arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ada" in 1875. William Laycock arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maraval" in 1879.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Laycock: England 3,334; United States 2,087; Australia 1,183; Canada 929; South Africa 256; New Zealand 161; Germany 134; Scotland 131; France 98; Ireland 55.

Notable People:

Craven Laycock is an administrator of Dartmouth College.

Donald Laycock was an Australian grammarian and anthropologist.

Donald Laycock is an Australian artist.

Douglas Laycock is an American law professor.

Jason Laycock was an Australian rules football player.

Jimmye Laycock is an American college football referee.

John Laycock was an English rock climbing instructor.

Laycock Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Laycock blazon are the cock and chevron. The two main tinctures (colors) are argent and sable.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 1. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 3. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 4. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 5.

The cock, and other members of its avian family are often found in coats of arms, although telling them apart simply from their images can sometimes be a challenge! Many times the precise choice of species arises as a play on words on the family name, sometimes now lost in history. 6 The cock itself, Wade points out is a “bird of great courage” and might be used as a symbol of “watchfullness”, being the herald of the dawn. 7

The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield 8, or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.9. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” 10, possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.

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  • 1 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 2 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 4 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Cock
  • 7 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P80
  • 8 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, (various)
  • 9 The Pursuivant of Arms, J. R. Planche, Hardwicke, London 1859
  • 10 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P45