This interesting surname is of Northern English locational origin from district in Lancashire adjoining the West Riding of Yorkshire called Hawkshaw. Now considerably reduced, this ecclesiastical district survives as a field-name. The component elements of the name are the Old English pre 7th Century "heafoc", hawk, also found as the Old English personal byname, Hafoc, plus the Old English "sceaga", a wood or copse; hence, "Hafoc's Copse" or, "wood frequented by hawks". The surname was first recorded in the latter part of the 13th Century, (see below). One, Thomas Haukshawe was noted in "A descriptive catalogue of Ancient Deeds", for Warwickshire in 1375. On May 11th 1568, Robert Hawkshaw and Ellen Baron were married in St. Bartholomew's, Great Harwood, Lancashire. Sir John Hawkshaw (1811-1891), was consulting engineer in London, 1850. His words include the railways at Cannon Street and Charing Cross and the Severn Tunnel. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam de Haukesheye, witness, which was dated 1285, The Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 1, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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