This surname may be of Jewish, French or English origin, and derives from the Hebrew male given name "Yitschak", a derivative of "tsachak", to laugh. This name was given to the son of Abraham and Sarah, and popular etymology connects the meaning with Sarah's laughter at her joy at bearing a son in her old age. The Greek translators of the Old Testament rendered "Yitschak" as "Isaak"; it was then Latinized into Isaac. Isaac was popular among Eastern Christians. It occurs twice in the Olde English period as the ame of a priest, and "Isac" (without surname) appears in the Domesday Book of 1086. Ysaac (a member of the Jewish community) was noted in "Muniments of Magdalen College", Oxford, dated 1207. Early examples of the surname include: Johannes Isaak and John Ysac, entered respectively in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Norfolk and Oxford; and Henry Isaac noted in the 1275 Hundred Rolls of Worcestershire. The patronymic forms of the name are manifold, and include: Isaacs, Izaks, Isaacson, Isaaksohn and Isakson. On January 3rd 1710 Eleanor Isaacs and Cater Fowler were married at St. Saviour's, Southwark, London, and on July 10th 1813, the birth of Abigail, daughter of Phineas Isaacs, was recorded in the New Synagogue, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Isaac family of Devonshire in the reign of Henry 111 (1216 - 1272) is a shield divided per pale azure and purple with a gold cross flory. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes Isakson, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Returns Records of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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