This very unusual name is of early medieval origin and was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066 in the Old French form "Arichier", used either as a personal name or a nickname. The name means "the anker" an anchorite or hermit, also found as "ancre". Chaucer's "Romance of the Roses" contains the lines "Sometime I am religious, Now like an anker in an hous". The personal name is first recorded in the Northamptonshire Curia Rolls of 1208, as "Anker de Fressenvill". The modern surname has a variety of forms, ranging from "Anker and Ankers", the patronymic forms, to "Anchor, Annacker and Annercaw". Church records include Jhon Ankars who married Agnes Dixson on January 26th 1538 at St. Stephan, Coleman Street, London and Mary, daughter of Willi Ankers who was christened on August 26th 1660 at St. Olave's, Southwark, London. One John Ankers was married to Mary Perriman on the 9th November 1698 at All Hallows, London Wall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice Anker, which was dated 1395, Records of the Borough of Nottingham, during the reign of King Richard 11, "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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.
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