This most interesting surname is of Old French and early medieval English origin. It is composed of a medieval diminutive of the Greek name "Peter" or the French variant "Piers, Pierre", plus the suffix "-kin", although in this case the suffix itself has been further altered by local dialects to its present form. The surname spelling forms include Parks, Perks, Parken, Parkin, Perkin and Perkins, the plurals being patronymics i.e. 'Son of Peter'. The surname is first recorded in the 14th century (see below), and thereafter its popularity expanded rapidly. Early examples include Robert Parkyn of Stafford in the county rolls of 1327, and Maud Parkyns of Warwick and John Perkyn of Somerset, in the Hundred Rolls of their respective counties in 1380. Later recordings included John Perkins who married Penelope Vaughan at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney on March 24th 1599, and Sir William Perkins (also spelt Parkyns- so much for 17th century spelling even amongst the nobility, who was executed on Tower Hill in 1696 for planning to assassinate King William 111. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Perkyns, which was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of the County of Worcester, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as 'The father of the Royal Navy' 1327 - 1377. 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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