This interesting surname of English origin with variant spellings Barkas, Barkes, Barkis, Barkhouse, etc. is an occupational name for a tanner who worked in a barkhouse (a tannery). The surname dates back to the late 14th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Hugh de Barkhowse who granted all his goods and Chattels in his tannery at Beauchief to Ralph de Dore. London church recordings include one Rose Barkes who married James Noare on February 18th 1589, at St. Olave's, Hart Street, Samuell, son of John and Ann Barkes, was christened on october 7th 1655, at St.Mary's, Whitechapel, Stepney, and Sarah Barkes married Joseph Jones on march 19th 1681, at Christ Church, Southwark. Elizabeth Barkes married John Davis at St. James, Dukes Barke, an emigrant to the New World, is recorded on the Death Register in Virginia on February on 16th 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas del Barkhous, which was dated 1379, The Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11 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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