This interesting surname of English origin is a patronymic of the old Norse "gauker" Middle English "goke", "gawke" meaning "cuckoo", a nickname from the bird the cuckoo. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century, (see below). Further recordings include Thomas Gouk (1219), witness, "The Assize Rolls of Yorkshire", Thomas Gauke (1424), "Register of the Freemen of the city of York", and John Gook (1432) also recorded in the "Register of the city of York". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Gookes, Gokes, Goaks, etc.. One Margaret Gookes was christened on July 8th 1656 at St. Giles Cipplegate, London. Jacob Goaks married Mary Webster on February 3rd 1763 at St. Olave, Southwark, and Alice Gookes who married John Blinking at St. Pancras Old Church, London on May 26th 1765. William, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Gokes, was christened at St. Mary, Westeyan, Huntingdon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alan Gok, which was dated 1219, witness in "The Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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