This unusual name is Dutch in origin, and is one of the patronymic forms of the Dutch given name "Dir(c)k" or "Diederick", and means "son of Dir(c)k". The personal name was introduced into England by Flemish craftsmen engaged in the wool trade in the 15th Century, although its ultimate origin is Germanic, from the Olde German "theuda", meaning "people", and "ric", meaning "power, rule", in Germany found as "Theodoric" and later, "Dietrich". In England the name gradually changed from "Dederick" to "Derrick" and "Derek", but the Dutch forms remained, if found rarely, as "Derks", "Dirk(e)s" and "Derx". Elizabeth Derks was christened in London in May 1737, and one Batthasar Derx married Sarah Hudson at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, on the 10th March 1861. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Dirkes, christened, which was dated 15th April 1610, in St. Leonard's, Lexden, Essex, 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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