This interesting and unusual name is of early medieval origin, and derives from a nickname given to a bright, "chirpy" person, thought to be as active and (apparently) cheerful as a (chaf) finch. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "pinc(a)", in Middle English "pinch" or "pink", meaning "(chaf) finch". There are quite a few examples of modern surnames that have their origins in medieval nicknames taken from some real or supposed resemblance to a bird, such as "Lark", "Hawk", "Swan", "Nightingale" and "Finch".The modern surname can be found as "Pink", "Pinck", "Pinks" or "Pinch". Examples of the recordings taken from the church registers include, Joane Pinke, christened at St Lukes Church, Chelsea, on February 1st 1584, Edward Pink who married Jane Perkins at St. Mary's, Marylebone, London on the Boxing Day, 1693, and the patronymic Thomas Pinks, son of John Pinks, christened at St Mary Whitechapel, on March 14th 1707. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sewine Pinca, which was dated 1100 - 1130, in the "Old English Bynames", (Devonshire), during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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