This interesting name is of Old French, specifically Provencal origin, and is an Anglicized form of the Provencal surname found as Garric and Garrique. The name is topographical, acquired in the first instances by someone who lived by a conspicuous oak tree or an oak grove, derived from the Old Provencal "garric" (masculine), kermes oak (a small evergreen Eurasian oak tree), or "garrique" (feminine), a grove of such oaks. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created in Europe, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided obvious distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname was introduced into Britain by French Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution in France during the 17th and 18th Centuries; the famous actor-manager David Garrick (1717-1779) was of Huguenot descent. His father was born in France, and his grandfather, Daivd de la Garrique, left Bordeaux in 1685, changing the family name to Garric. Examples of the surname from Church Registers include: the marriage of David Garrick and Alice Weller in Lewes, Sussex, on January 29th 1711, and the christening of Carrington, son of George Garrick, at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London, on November 21st 1752. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David Garric, which was dated January 30th 1689, witness to the christening of his son, David, at the Threadneedle Street French Huguenot Church, London, during the reign of William and Mary, Joint Monarchs, 1689 - 1702. 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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