This interesting and unusual surname has a number of possible derivations. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, as a metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of garlic, from the Olde English pre 7th Century, "garleac" (Middle English "garlek"), a compound of "gar", spear, and "leac", leek, named from the shape of the leaves. It may perhaps also have been a nickname for someone who ate a lot of garlic. However, in some instances, the surname may have derived from the Olde English personal name "Garlac", composed of the elements "gar", spear, and "lac", sport, play. The surname first appears in the late 13th Century (see below), while other early examples of the name include Gilbert Garleck, recorded in Suffolk in 1277, in the Book of Ely, and one John Garlyke, mentioned in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York in 1491. John Garlicke married Elizabeth Becket on August 19th 1595, at St. Katherine by the Tower, London, while Izake, son of Henry Garlick, was christened on April 5th 1611, at All Hallows the Less, London. The family Coat of Arms depicts on a silver shield, three heads of garlick proper, and the Crest, a dexter arm erect in armour, holding in the hand proper a cutlass with gold pommel and hilt. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Garlec, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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