Recorded as Park, Parke, Parks, Parkes Perks, the occupational Parkman, and the residential Parkhouse, this is an English surname. It has two possible origins. It can be either a metonymic or occupational name for someone employed in or at a park, or it can be topographical, and denote someone who lived by such a place. The derivation is from the pre 10th century Old French word "parc." This described in medieval times a large enclosed area where a landowner could hunt game. Early examples of the surname development include the recordings of Iselota atte Park of the county of Kent in 1285, Henry del Parks of Worcestershire in 1304, whilst Johannes del Parkhouse appears in the Poll Tax rolls for the county of Yorkshire, in 1379..Thomas Parkes was an early settler in the new colony of 'Virginea'. He appears in what is believed to have been the first muster or census of inhabitants on February 24th 1624 where is recorded as 'living in James Cittee'. The famous Scottish explorer, Mungo Park, (1771 - 1806), led two expeditions to trace the source of the Niger in Africa, and published an account of his adventures called simply "Travels", in 1799. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry del Parck. This was dated 1272, in the Assize Court rolls of Staffordshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England. He was known to history as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.
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