Recorded in the spellings of Meek, Meeke, and the patronymics Meeks and Meekes, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. It is medieval, and a nickname surname for a gentle or self-effacing person deriving from the pre 7th century word "meek" or the Old Norse "mjukr" meaning "humble" or "meek". However given the robust humour of the Middle Ages it must be considered that the name may have a reverse meaning, and the nameholders could have been the opposite of "meek"! The surname from this source is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below), and early examples of the recordings include Robert le Meke in the "Register of the Freemen of the City of York", for the year 1300, and Alicia Meke, whose occupation is given as "labourer" is registered in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire for 1379.The surname is recorded in Scotland from the mid 15th Century, the earliest recorded namebearer there being William Mek of Cowbyr in 1457, whilst Robert Meik was a burgess of the city of Perth in 1545 and in 1692, the marriage of John Martin and Jane Meek was recorded in St. Antholin's, London. A notable bearer of the surname was Sir James Meek (1778 - 1856) who was knighted in 1851 for service in Egyptology. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Mek, which was dated 1229, in the "Patent Records" of the county of Somerset. This was during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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