It is said that Hawken is the original form of the popular surname Hawkin(s), but in fact both originate from the same Olde English pre 10th century source. Hawken is one of the relatively few surnames which does mean precisely what it says, the original name holder being one whose features, bearing or general disposition, resembled a hawk! In the period of the dark ages male baptismal names generally, were associated with the gods, or war, or ferocious heroism, so 'Hawk' or in its original spelling 'Hafoc' followed the pattern. As a surname it developed both in its base from as Hawk or Hawkes, the latter being a patronymic, and in the diminutives Hawken(s) or Hawkin(s). That the name lived up to its origins is shown by the extraordinary number of persons who lived by the sword. Hawken seems to be a form which according to the eminent Victorian etymologist Canon C W Bardsley is most often recorded in Cornwall, although other than dialect, why this should be so is unclear. Canon Bardsley also considered the surname to be a development of Halkin, i.e Little Hal, a nickname from Henry, but this seems unlikely. Early recordings are those of John Hauekyn in the Hundred Rolls of Kent (1275) and Robert Hauekin of Essex in 1248. Later examples of the recording include Joane Hawken, who married Wilimus Tome at St Breward on September 7th 1570, and William Hawken, who married Jane Cradock, on March 28th 1793, at Bodmin, Cornwall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margery Haukyns, which was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as 'The father of the Navy', 1327 - 1377. 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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