Recorded in several spelling forms including Calkin, Caukin, Calkain, and Calken, this unusual surname would seem to be post medieval English, but of pre - 7th century origins. We say "would seem" because we have not been able to absolutely prove the origin to our satisfaction. In our opinion it derives from the Olde English and Danish-Viking word "kalfr", which means calf, and which was also used as a name of endearment. To this prefix has been added the word "kin", meaning a kinsman, or even perhaps a close friend. However the first known recording in any spelling, see below, is as "Caukin". Whether this is a simple dialectal spelling mistake, or whether it is intentional, is unclear, however Caukin does not have a decipherable meaning. A scan through the surviving early registers gives examples of the surname recordings showing the apparent surname development as follows: Dennis Calkain, who was a witness at the church of St Andrews, Holborn, London, on August 27th 1783, and Samuel Calkin, whose son, for no apparent reason that we can find, was christened in the French form of "Pierre", at St. Pancras Old Church, London, on August 21st 1831. The first known recording of the surname in any spelling may be that of John Caukin, at the church known as St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on November 2nd 1606. This was during ghe reign of King James 1st of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625.
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