This interesting surname is derived either from the diminutive of the Old French personal name Lawrence or Laurence (Lawrence derives from the Roman (Latin), and means "victory"), "law" or "laur" plus "kin", or, it can be an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Lorcain", the prefix "O" meaning "descendant of", plus "Lorcan" a personal name from a diminutive of "lorc", fierce or cruel. The surname dates back to the late 13th Century (see below), and further early recordings include, Thomas Lorkyn, in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire.Variations in the idiom of the spelling include: Larkin, Larking, Larkins and Lorking. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Arthur Larkin and Jone Sade on June 10th 1554, at St. Olave's, Old Jewry Hill, and the christening of William, son of Christopher Larkin, on July 7th 1577. Thomas Larkynn, an emigrant to the Barbados, sailed aboard the "Truelove" from London in June 1635, and Bridget Larkin, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Yorkshire" bound for New York in April 1846, The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Lorekyn, which was dated 1296, in the "Pipe Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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