This most interesting surname has two possible sources. Firstly, it may be of early medieval English origin, as a nickname for an uneducated, simple person, from the Middle English "geche, ge(c)ke", fool, found in Devon and Cornwall. However, the name may also have derived as a variant of "Geake", a Cornish metonymic occupational name for a builder of hedges, from the Cornish elements "ke", a hedge or fence, and "-ek", a Cornish adjectival suffix; hence the name was given to a builder, maker of hedges and fences. This name was found in east Cornwall, while the surname from the former source is found in mid and south-east Cornwall. Early recordings of the surname from Cornish Church Registers include the christenings of Emanuell and Alyce Geck(e), children of Richard Geck(e), at Egloskerry, on January 25th 1578, and October 11th 1581, respectively; the marriage of Elizabeth Geke and Diggory Rounsavale, on October 29th 1615 at Bodmin; and one Robert Gekes was recorded as a christening witness at St. Gregory by St. Paul's, London, on February 7th 1563. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Jekkes, which was dated 1524, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017