This rare and intriguing name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Bablock (Hythe) near Eynsham in Oxfordshire. The place is recorded in the Oxfordshire Hundred Rolls of 1279 as "Babbelak", and is named with the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Babba", of now obscure etymology, but also found in the placenames Babbacombe (Devonshire), Babingley (Norfolk), and Babthorpe (Yorkshire), and the Olde English "lacu", stream, water-course. The "Hythe" of the full modern name is a slightly later addition, from the Olde English "hyth", landing-place. Locational surnames were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere; regional dialectal influences and varying standards of literacy frequently gave rise to different forms of the original name. In this instance, the modern surname forms include Bareblock, Bearblock and Bereblock; some examples from London Church Registers illustrate the development: Beerblock (1578); Bereblocke (1594); Berblock (1613); and Barblocke (1654). The marriage of James Bearblock and Lucie Ashmer was recorded at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, in London, on February 26th 1629. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family name depicts four red staves raguly in saltire on a silver shield, within a blue bordure. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Berblok, which was dated February 12th 1571, marriage to Suzan Denham, at St. Vedast, Foster Lane, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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