This unusual name is a dialectual variant of the locational name Hillbeck or Helbeck from the places so called in Westmoreland and North Yorkshire. The derivation is from the Olde Norse "hellir" a cave, and "Bekkr" a stream, hence a "stream issuing from a cave like recess". It became common during the middle ages when migrating from a village to use the placename as a means of identification, thus causing the name to be dispersed. One Richard Hillback an infant, son of Matthew and Mary Hillback was christened at St. Mary Staining, London in 1778. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Hilbeck, which was dated 1685, at St. Dunstan, Stepney, London, during the reign of King James 11, known as the Last Catholic King, 1685 - 1688. 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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