Recorded as Heck, Hecks, Heak, Heake, Heaker, Heeker, and Heakins, this interesting surname is English. It is locational from a place called Heck near Selby, in the former West Riding of Yorkshire, or possibly Heckmondwike in the same county. First recorded as "Hecca" in the Early Yorkshire Charters list of 1157, and as "Heck" in the tax rolls known as the 'Feet of Fines' in 1216, it derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word "haecc", meaning a gate, and sometimes a floodgate or sluice-gate. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people took or were given as their surname, the name of their former home as an easy means of identification. This often resulted in a wide dispersal of the name. One of the earliest examples of the surname recording is that of John de Hecke in the Book of Fees of Yorkshire in 1242. Later recordings from church registers include: the marriage of Marie Heck and Edward Barkham on January 18th 1635, at Tottenham, and that of Martha Heake, the daughter of Moses Heake at St Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London, on September 2nd 1670. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John del Hek. This was dated 1219, in the Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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