It would be tempting to report that the holders of this unusual surname, recorded in the spellings of Conquer, Concur, Conker, Cuncarr, and no doubt others, were in someway associated with William the Conqueror in 1066, but this is not the case. Indeed the origin could hardly be less warlike. The name is however French and residential. It is a development of the original Latin (Roman) "Concha" meaning shell, but in this case it is used in a transposed sense to describe a hollow in the ground of a shell-like shape. The name was originally recorded only in Gascony and then as "Conquere", and Gascony being predominantly protestant (Huguenot) was therefore the place of origin of the modern English nameholders. The surname is not recorded in England before the late Elizabethan period, again confirmation of its emigre status. The Coat of Arms was granted in France to the family 'Conquere de Monbrison' and this has the blazon of a silver field, charged with a blue chevron between three martlets. Today the name is recorded in France today as "Conquet". The earliest church recordings in England include Sara Conquer baptised at St. Dunstans church, Stepney on June 12th 1631, William Cuncur or Cuncker, a witness at St. Margarets, Westminster on April 1st 1638, and Elizabeth Conker, christened at St George's in the East, Stepney, on May 10th 1747. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jean Conquerer, which was dated May 6th 1618, married Marie Condit at St. Olaves church, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 -1625. 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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