This interesting and curious surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is a metonymic occupational name for a fisherman or fishseller, or a nickname for someone who bore a fancied resemblance to a fish in some way, from the Old Norse "fiskr", a fish. In some instances, the name may derive from the Olde English pre 7th Century "fisc", a fish, with the same meaning as above. "Fisc" also occurs in the Domesday Book of 1086 in Norfolk, as a personal name. Variants of the surname in the modern idiom include Fisk, Fysh and Fish, while the surname itself is largely restricted to the county of Norfolk. It first appears in records in the early 13th Century (see below), while other early examples of the name include Daniel Fisc (Suffolk, 1208); Robert Fisk (Nottinghamshire, 1230); and Robert le Fysch (Cornwall, 1297). Mathew, son of Nicholas Fiske, was christened on July 15th 1618, at St. Mary the Virgin, Colchester, Essex. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts on a black pale three gold mullets on a chequy field, silver and red. 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 Lancashire", 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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