This name, with variant spelling Ballach, is of Scottish locational origin from Balloch in Bonhill parish, Dumbartonshire. The name is believed to derive from the Gaelic "ballach", meaning speckled or spotted, probably with reference to the varied colours of the landscape in the area. The surname first appears on record in the latter part of the 15th Century, (see below). One, Robert Ballock, a messenger in Edinburgh, was noted in the register of marriages for that city in 1598. In the 16th Century, "Rentale Dunkeldense" Bello, Belloch and Bellocht appear as variants of the name. A William Bulloche in Muirhead of Touchgorme, parish of St. Ninians, was noted in "the Commissariot Record of Stirling" in 1676. William Ballach, an infant, was christened in Strichen, Aberdeenshire on November 4th 1721, and on December 3rd 1789, Alexander Balloch and Ann Leslie were married in Drumblade, Aberdeenshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Donald Ballock, witness, which was dated 1479, in the "Register of the Great Seal of Scotland", during the reign of King James 111, of Scotland, 1460 - 1488. 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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