This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has three possible origins, the first of which is from an Olde English pre 7th Century personal name, originally a byname, 'H(e)afoc', meaning 'Hawk', and recorded in the 1066 Winton Rolls of Hampshire as 'Havoc'. The second origin is related to the above, and is a nickname surname of medieval times, arising from the supposed resemblance of someone to a hawk and its characteristics, such as sharp sight, ferocity, or the possession of a hooked nose like a hawk's beak. The nickname derives from the Olde English 'heafoc', Middle English 'hau(l)k' or 'haveke'. The surname Hawk, of which Hawkes is the patronymic form, meaning 'son of Hawk', can also be a metonymic occupational name for a hawker, one who trained hawks. William Hawkes was awarded a B.A. at Oxford University in 1539. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Hawk, witness, which was dated 1269, The Assize Court Records of Northumberland, during the reign of King Henry III, 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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