This interesting name has two possible origins - both occupational. The first deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "locian" meaning "to look" or "search" and given to one employed for that purpose i.e. a shepherd or farm bailiff. The first recordings from this source are in the 1327 Pipe Rolls of Somerset - "John le Lokar" and "Robert Louker". The name may also derive from the Medieval English "loke" or "river barrier" which could be opened and closed by extension of a bridge. The surname may thus be a metonymic occupational name for a lock-keeper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter le Loker. which was dated 1221, in the "Assize Court Rolls of Worcestershire". 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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