This surname, with the variants Isaacs, Isaacson, Isaac and Isacke, may be of English, French or Jewish 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 and 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. Though popular among Eastern Christians, it occurs only twice in the Olde English period as the name of a priest. "Isac" (without surname) appears in the Domesday book of 1086, and "Ysaac" (a member of the Jewish community) was noted in "Muniments of Magdalen College", Oxford, dated 1207. Early examples of the surname include: Henry Isaac (Worcestershire, 1275) and Walter Isak (Somerset, 1327). 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 Isaak, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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