Recorded as Ballback, Balbeck, Bullback, Bulbeck and Bulbick, this is apparently an English surname. It is almost certainly locational and probably from some now 'lost' medieval village of which the only reminder in the late 20th century is the surname itself. Indeed the various variant spellings of the surname and the uncertainty as to which if any, is the original correct place name spelling, all point to the likelihood of the 'lost' village syndrome. It is estimated that over three thousand surnames in the listings of the British Isles do come from such a source, making it unusual, but not unique. As to why so many should have disappeared has been the subject of several books, but usually it can be put down to changes in agricultural practice, land drainage, plague, which was common for many centuries, civil war and even land erosion. The most likely original spelling is probably 'Bulbeck' since this is logical, and possibly a descent from the pre 7th century Olde English 'bula' meaning a bull, although this is also used as a personal name, and 'beck', a stream. This is from the Norse-Viking word 'bekkr'. The early surviving church registers of the city of London include examples of recordings such as Abraham Bulbeck, who married Katherin Clarke at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on February 6th 1582, and Dorithy Bullback, the daughter of William Bullback, christened at St. Botolphs Bishopgate, on May 1st 1732.
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