This interesting surname is a variant of Brook, which is a very old English topographical name for someone who lived by a stream or a brook. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'broc', meaning a brook, or by extension, a water meadow. The name development shows the geographical emphasis. William de la Broke (1208, Surrey), Emma de Brokes (1220, Suffolk), Peter atte Broke (1262, Essex) and William del Brokes (1332, Lancashire). The modern surname can be found as Brook, Brooke, Brook(e)s, Broke, Brock, Bruck and Brockman. Among the recordings in London are the christening of Richard, son of Henry and Katherin Brockman, on September 2nd 1621 at St. Dunstans's, Stepney, and the marriage of Edmond Brockman and Sarah Fewtrill on December 28th 1657 at St. Margaret Pattens. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Eustace del Broc, which was dated 1130, The Pipe Rolls of Northamptonshire, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as 'The Lion of Justice', 1100-1135. 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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