This name is of Cornish topographic origin for one who dwelled by a rocky hill. The name derives from the Celtic "carr", a rock plus the Olde Gaelic "cnoc", a hill. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small country communities of the Middle Ages. The surname, with variant spellings Carnock, Carneck, Kernock(e), Curn(n)ok(k), Curnick and Curnucke, is well recorded in London and Cornish Church Registers from the early 17th Century, (see below).On October 26th 1669, Avise Kernocke and James Hawkyn were married in Michaelston, Cornwall. Agnes, daughter of John and Lydia Curnock, was christened in St. Dunstan's, Stepney on May 14th 1679 and on November 21st 1701, Grace Curnock and Thomas Rundle were married in St. Endellion, Cornwall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robart Curnock, which was dated August 26th 1607, christened at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London, during the reign of King James I of England and VI 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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