This interesting surname derives from the medieval given name "Pack", a survival of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Pacca", which is only found as a placename element and appears to have died out fairly early on in the Olde English period. The medieval given name may also have derived from the Middle English "paske", Old French "pasque" meaning Easter, and would have originated as a nickname for someone who was born at Easter, or had some other particular connection with that time of year, such as owing a feudal obligation then. "Payke" (without surname) appears in the Assize Court Rolls of Cambridgeshire (1260). The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below). One Roger Pake appears in the Pipe Rolls of Leicestershire (1195). In the modern idiom the surname has five variant spellings, Pack, Packe, Paik, Pakes and Patch. On April 20th 1561, Jane Pack was christened at the Church of St. Mary Somerset, London, and the marriage of Elizabeth Pack and John Andrew took place at the Church of St. Andrew's, Enfield, on November 28th 1592. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was William Pack aged 27 yrs., who departed from the Port of London aboard the "Paule" bound for Virginia in July 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Pac, which was dated 1190, in the "Kalendar of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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