This rare surname is of German origin and is a variant form of the name Fenck, which has two possible explanations, the first being that it is a metonymic occupational name for a millet farmer, derived from the Middle High German "ven(i)ch", itself from the Latin "panicum", which literally means panic grass. However it may also be a topographical name for a person who lived by a patch of land where this crop was grown. There has been some confusion with the Middle German "fenich", a byform of "fenichel", the modern German "fenchel", meaning fennel, a popular aromatic herb in the Middle Ages, so it is likely that some names have this word as their source. One Rachel Fenech married John Osmotherly on March 24th 1716 at St. Benet, Paul's Wharf, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Feueck (marriage to Katherine Bouthall), which was dated June 25th 1633, South Ormsby, Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Charles 1, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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