Recorded as Brocking, Brookin, Brookins, Brooking, Brookings and others, this is an English medieval surname. It is probably topographical for someone who lived by a brook or stream, deriving from the pre 7th century English word "broc" or the German word "brook," meaning a water-meadow, with "-ing" describing the people who lived there. However it could also be occupational and describe people who worked as water carriers in the days before channels or pipes, bringing fresh water for cooking in wheeled barrels or tubs from a central source. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers of the parish of Greater London include Dorothy Brockin who married John Stynt at St Botolphs Bishopgate, on November 30th 1566, Elizabeth Brookeing who was christened on September 27th 1657 at St Dunstans Stepney, Christiana, the daughter of Caroli and Judithae Brooking, christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster on December 26th 1668, whilst William Brocking was a christening witness at St Lukes Chelsea, on November 5th 1830. Charles Brooking (1723-1759) was originally a ship's painter at Deptford in Kent. He became a noted painter of sea scapes. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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