This interesting and unusual name is of French origin and is a locational name from any of the various places in France which get their names from the word Conche, for example "Conques" in Aude and Aveyron. It is likely that this name was introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, although no recordings exist before the late 16th Century. However, during the Middle Ages, as it became more common for people to migrate, they would often adopt the placename as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Among the sample recordings in London, both at St. Andrew's, Holborn, are the christenings of Thomas Conquest on February 18th 1587 and James Conquest, on December 24th 1592. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richardus Conqueste, which was dated November 20th 1578, St. Andrew's Holborn, 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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