This interesting surname with variant spellings Cleak, Cleake, Cleke, Click, Clicke, etc. derives from a piece of land in the parish of Ermington near plymouth, first recorded in 1278, as Clekeland(e) and still known as Clickland. The placename is composed of the Old English pre 7th Century "cleaca" meaning "stepping stone or boundary stone". The surname dates back to the mid 16th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Ellen Cleak who was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on August 26th 1618. Susan Clicke married Thomas Pace at St. Martin Ventry London on December 5th 1625, and Edward Click married Joyce Gunt on February 9th 1640, at St. Mary Major, Exeter, Devonshire. One John son of Humphry and Mary Click, was christened on January 26th 1728 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Annes Cleake married Henry Titcheburne, which was dated 1562, St. Lawrence Jewry and St. Mary Magdalene, Milk Street, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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