This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor or unrecorded place, perhaps a "lost" village. There are an estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from Britain since the 12th Century. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pasture at the height of the wool rade in the 15th Century, and such natural causes as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished. The original place is believed to be in Devon, where the surname is most widespread, and is first recorded (see below). The component elements are the Olde English pre 7th Century "laecc", a stream flowing through boggy land, with "(i)eg", island, piece of land situated on a stream or between streams. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the christening of Julian, daughter of Gregory Laskey, on January 15th 1574 at Islington, Devon; the christening of John, son of Richard Laskey, on May 23rd 1585 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London; and the christening of Anne, daughter of William Laskey, on April 13th 1586 at Totnes, Devon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gregory Laskey, which was dated July 19th 1567, marriage to Katheryne Prowse, at Ilsington, Devon, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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