This interesting surname is of Welsh origin, and is a locational name from either Heath Charnock or Charnock Richard in Lancashire. The placenames were recorded as "Chernoc" in the Cockersand Chartulary (1190), and as "Chernoch" in the 1194 Pipe Rolls, and are so called from a derivative of the Welsh "carn", rock, stone; hence "rocky district". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname is first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below). Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of James Charnock and Parnell Parker on July 10th 1542, at Kirkham, Lancashire; the christening of Bridget, daughter of William Charnock, on November 10th 1558, at St. Dunstan's in the East, London; and the marriage of Henry Charnock and Margarett Griffyn on October 24th 1569, at St. Giles', Cripplegate, London. A notable namebearer, Job Charnock (deceased 1693), is renowned as the founder of Calcutta. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield, on a black bend three silver crosses formee flory, the Crest being a dove proper. The Motto "Soies content" translates as "Be content". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Chernok, which was dated 1246, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire", during the reign of King henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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