This uncommon surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a patronymic form of either one of two male given names, Jacob or John. Jacob derives from the Hebrew "aqob" meaning"supplanter" or, "following -after". In the Bible, this is the name of the younger twin brother of Esau, who took advantage of the latter's hunger and impetuousness to part with his birthright "for a mess of potage". The forename James is of identical origin, and both appear as "Jacobus" in the Latin. The Old French given name "Jacques", the usual French form of "Jacobus", was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and was Anglicized variously as "Jake", "Jacke" and "Jeke". The personal name John derives from the Hebrew "Yochanan" meaning "Jehovah has favoured (me with a son)". The popularity of this name throughout Europe is borne out by the wide variety of diminutive and pet forms it generated, including Jakke, Jak and Jack. One, Petrus filius (son of) Jake was noted in the 1195 Pipe Rolls of Cornwall, and a Normannus filius Jacce appears in the 1218 Assize Rolls of Lincolnshire. Early examples of the surname include: Agnes Jakkes (Huntingdonshire 1279) and William Jacke, (Staffordshire, 1302). On December 29th 1577 Gabriell, son of Randal Jacks, was christened at St. Michael's, Cornhill, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Jakes, witness, which was dated 1269, in the "Assize Court Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Henry 111, "The Frenchman", 1216-1272. 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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