Recorded as Monckman, Monkeman, Monkman and possibly others, this is an English surname. It originates from the pre 7th Century word 'munec' meaning a monk, plus 'man', a friend or servant of Monk, and given as a descriptive nickname to someone thought to resemble a monk in some way, or occupational for a worker in the monastery. The suffix 'man' when attached to a name has several possible meanings and it is difficult if not impossible to acurately state what was meant at the time when the name was first created. The surname is ancient, one of the first recorded which indicates the power of the monasteries and religion generally. Amongst these early recordings is that of Edward le Munekesman in the Subsidy Tax rolls of Hampshire in 1199, and a John Monkeman in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Yorkshire in 1275. In the surviving early church registers of the city of London we have that on August 15th 1592 of Thomas Monkman and Ellen Orchard, who were married at St. Margarets Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Monekisman. This was dated 1179 in the Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry IInd, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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