This very unusual and interesting surname, is generally accepted as being English and specifically from the Midlands. It is certainly a surname found in the midlands in several forms but its origins are French! It derives from the old French word 'loche', and describes a fresh water fish, and as a surname was applied as a nickname for a fresh water fisherman. This is to some extent proven by the coat of arms granted in Brittany, France, before 1792, which has the blazon of three silver fish, on a black field. Quite when the name appeared in England is not certain, although it was well established in Warwickshire in the 16th century. There may be some connection with recording such as for instance, Robert Atteloc, recorded in the year 1300. In this case the 'lok' apparently refers to a stretch of fresh water, used for fish farming. Examples of the surname spellings include Loache, Loach, in England, and Loche, Lochet, Locard, and Lockhart in France. The latter also being a prominent Scottish clan surname - although like Loach it originated from France in the 12th century. It is unclear when the surname was first recorded but it may be that of William de Loc, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Berkshire in 1230. 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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