This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Middle English (1200 - 1500) "fische" or "fish", itself coming from the Olde English pre 7th century "fisc" meaning a fish. "Fisc" occurs as a personal name in the Domesday Book for Norfolk of 1086. The surname is first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century (see below), and it is a metonymic occupational name for a catcher or seller of fish. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary.One Daniel Fisc appears in the Calendar Rolls of Suffolk, dated 1208, and a Robert Fisk in the 1230 Pipe Rolls of Northumberland. In the 14th Century the name was normally written with the preceding article "le" meaning "the", for example, Robert le Fissh of Somerset (1327). On April 27th 1635, one Christopher Fish embarked from London on the ship "Ann and Elizabeth", bound for the Barbados, "Hotten's Records". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ernis Fish, which was dated 1202, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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