Recorded as Hawk, Hawkes, the diminutives Hawket, Hawkett and Hawkitt, and the patronymics Hawks and Hawkes, this is an English surname. It has three possible origins. The first is from the Olde English pre 7th Century male given "Heafoc", meaning a hawk, and originally a personal name for a fierce, rapacious person, or one with a large hooked nose. "Hauok" was recorded in the Winton Book of Hampshire in 1066, whilst Osbertus filius Hauoc was recorded Old English Byname Register of Oxfordshire in 1115. The second possibility is that Hawke is a metonymic occupational name for someone who bred and trained hawks. Hawking was a major sport, and the provision and training of hawks for a feudal lord was a not uncommon obligation in lieu of rent. Robert Hauk was recorded in the 1269 Assize Rolls of Northumberland. Finally, it may be topographical from residence by a nook or crag, from the Olde English word "halh", as in William del Halk of Suffolk, in 1188. The coat of arms most associated with the name has the blazon of a silver shield with a chevron erminois, between three purple pilgrims' staves. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Hauoc, which was dated 1130, in the Pipe Rolls of London. This was during the reign of King Henry 1st, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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