True Cocker Spaniel origin, though well-documented, can be a bit murky. It is known that these dogs are part of the Spaniel family (with "spaniel" as the word for "Spanish dog"), and this breed's ancestors originated in--you guessed it--Spain. There, Spaniel dogs were divided into smaller companion dogs and larger hunting ones.
Around 1800, Spaniel dogs began being exported to England, and a smaller type became known as the "Cocking Spaniel" because of its ability to hunt woodcocks. "Cocking" eventually became "Cocker," and by the 1890s the Cocker Spaniel was recognized by Britain's official Kennel Club.
And this is where accounts of the history of the Cocker Spaniel begin to diverge some. Most historians, though, agree that sometime in the late 19th century, Americans began importing Cockers to the U.S. Around 1880 the American Spaniel Club was formed (which originally recognized several types of Spaniel dogs). Over the next few decades, breeders began refining these breeds, and the American Cocker Spaniel became a show ring favorite. By the mid-1940s, the American Kennel Club recognized the English Cocker and the American Cocker as two separate breeds. (This is why "Cocker Spaniel history" and "American Cocker Spaniel history" are often interchangeable.)
Today, various clubs define the American and English varieties differently: some say they're two varieties of the same breed, others don't. For the most part, though, the American variant is what people think of as simply the Cocker Spaniel.
So the questions "Where are Cocker Spaniels from?" or "Where do Cocker Spaniels originate from?" could be answered with Spain, England, or the U.S.--and oddly enough, all three answers are correct!