Recorded in the spellings of Parkins and Perkins, this ancient surname is of Old French and early medieval English origins. It is a patronymic derivative of the Ancient Greek personal name 'Peter' meaning 'rock' through the Norman-French 'Piers or Pierre'. Introduced into Britain after the Norman Invasion of 1066 and also by the Crusaders of the 12th century on their retrun from the Holy Land, it consists of the basic 'Per or Par' with the two additive diminutives, 'kin', indicating close relationship, such as son, or nephew, and the plural 's', a shortened form of 'son'. In its full length it is often recorded as 'Parkinson' and less so as 'Perkinson'. There is an occasional secondary origin from the French 'parc'. As such this was an occupational surname for a keeper of royal hunting grounds, known as 'The Parks'. Early examples of the recordings include Robert Parkyn of Stafford in the County Rolls of 1327, and John Perkyn of Somerset, in the Hundred Rolls of 1380. Later recordings included John Perkins who married Penelope Vaughan at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, London, England, on March 24th 1599, and Sir William Perkins (also spelt Parkyns) who was executed on Tower Hill in 1696, for planning to assassinate King William 111 of Orange and England. The first of the name into America was James Perkyns, aged 42, who sailed from London to the colony of 'Virginea' on 'Secundo Januari 1634' in the ship 'Bonaventure'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Walter Perkyns. This was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of the County of Worcester, during the reign of King Edward 111, 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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