Recorded in the well known spellings of Horlick and Horlock, and the occasional Harlick, this is an English surname. It was originally a nickname for a person with the distinguishing mark of a streak of white hair, the derivation being from the Olde English pre 7th century words "har-locc" meaning gray lock. In general the medieval period commencing with the Norman Invasion of 1066, was one of great change, and in die course as the feudal era began to break up with increased industrialisation, people were able to move much more freely about the countryside in search of better work and conditions.This created a need for identification and one of the easiest ways to identify a person was to call him and sometimes her, by some sort of physical distringuishing mark, in effect, a nickname. These in time developed into well known hereditary sunames with examples such as Pegg, a person with a long nose, or Cruickshank, one with bent legs, or Stubbs, a short, stocky, person. Many names such as Rattlepate were at best offensive and often obscene, and these have mostly disappeared or their form changed to make them unrecognizeable. In this case we have some very early recordings, in fact almost as early as surnames are ever recorded anywhere, although it is doubtful if these were hereditary. These include Borewoldus Horloc in the famous Winton Rolls of the county of Hampshire in 1066, and a century later Edwardus Harloc appears in the Pipe Rolls of the city of London in 1187-88. Henry Horlok, in the year 1273, is recorded in Kirby's Quest, an ancient history of Somerset, and it is possible that this was a hereditary recording.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2022