This unusual and interesting surname has four origins; firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, a metonymic occupational name for a locksmith, deriving from the Middle English "loc", a development of the Olde English pre 7th Century "loc" meaning lock or fastening. Secondly, it may be an Anglo-Saxon topographical name for someone who lived near an enclosure, a place that could be locked, deriving from the Middle English "loke", a development of the Olde English "loca" meaning enclosure. The Middle English "loke" was used especially of a barrier on a river, which could be opened and closed at will, and by extension of a bridge; the surname may thus also have been a metonymic occupational name for a lock-keeper. Thirdly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin, a nickname for a person with fine hair, from the Olde English, Old High German "loc" meaning lock (of hair) or curl. Finally, it may derive from the given name "Lucas", a Latin form of the Greek "Loucas" meaning man from Lucania. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). London Church Records list the christening of John, son of Robert and Elizabeth Loakes, on March 27th 1654 at St. Andrew's, Holborn, and of Timothy, son of Timothy and Mary Loakes, in September 1656 at St. Ann's, Blackfriars. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Eustace Loc, which was dated 1235, in the "Pipe Rolls of Essex", 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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