There is some slight reservations as to the origins of this interesting old surname. That it is Olde English from the times before the Norman Conquest of 1066 seems almost certain, but some modern name holders may derive from other backgrounds. In the North of England in ancient times the word 'maugh' referred to a female relative by marriage, usually it is said ones sister in law. An early tome ('Promptorium Parvulorum', circa 1250) states 'Mow, husbondys syster or wyfves systyr, or syster in law' (note the varied spellings of 'sister').From 'Mow' developed a diminutive 'Mockes' or 'Mowckes'- translating as 'Son of Mow' or 'Little Mow', and it would seem that it was from this form that the 'modern' Moak(es) ultimately developed. However the name moved south to achieve this change, as shown in the recordings below, having first passed through Mouk and Moukkes on the way. These recordings include Mary Moukkes, the daughter of Lawrence Moukkes, christened at St Johns Church, Hackney, on August 20th 1609, Alice Mouk, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on January 9th 1613, and Ralph Moakes, who married Jane Broughton at St Brides Church, Fleet Street, London, On July 1st 1684, in the reign of King Charles 11 (1660 - 1685). The Coats of Arms has the blazon of a blue field charged with a silver boars head between three mullets (knights spurs). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Mocock, which was dated 1297, in the Pipe Rolls of the city of Wakefield, Yorkshire, 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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