The villages of Great Horrocks or Little Horrocks or the hamlet of Horrocks Hall, North Clitheroe are the origins of this name. Recent (1989) research as shown in the Dictionary of Surnames by Hankes and Hodges indicates that the name is a developed form of the medieval English "hurrock", which loosely translates as "a pile of Stones". However the dictionary admits to it being (quote) - "of uncertain origin". Earlier research based upon Victorian findings suggested that the "name" was more of Anglo-Saxon and Norse origins being a development of "Hors or Hross", plus "Ra" - a road or boundary, hence "the horse road or track". As "halh" (hall) also described "stables", and as both the Old English and the Vikings were keen on horses and horse racing, this is a possible etymology. The name forms include Horrocks, Horrox, Horray, Horrex and Orrock(s). Ruth Horrox being married to Nicholas Collope on December 6th 1666, at St. Bartholomew the Less, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Orrackes who married Ellen Leghus, which was dated on May 21st 1560, at Radcliffe, Lancashire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess" 1558 - 1603. 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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