This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a surname formed from 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. The surname is first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below) and William Jake was a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Cambridgeshire (1260). One of the earliest settlers in the New World was John Jack (27 yrs.), who departed from the Port of London, aboard the "Amitie", bound for St. Christopher's in the Barbados, in October 1635. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a shield divided per saltire silver and black, with two green leaves in pale and two gold acorns in fesse, the Crest being a green pear tree, fructed gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Jagge, which was dated 1251, in the "Chartulary of Ramsey Abbey", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "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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