Tound under the early records as Palke, Palk, Polk, Pohlke, and even Puleque, this very unusual name is National and derives from "Polska", meaning "the man from Poland". The origin is Slavonic and is a shortened form of "Bole", meaning "great" and "slav", glory, the surname being very popular not surprisingly amongst the ruling classes of the Silesian region, during the medieval period. The name in its various forms also appears in Germany, Holland and France, the earliest recordings in the United Kingdom are probably of former Baltic Merchants. Examples of the early recordings include Catherine Palke who married Peter Jogett at the church of St. Katherine by the Tower, London on July 24th 1748, whilst Catherine Palk was christened at St. Martins in the Field, Westminster on January 28th 1768, she was the daughter of Robert and Ann Palk whose antecedents are not known. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Palke, which was dated July 17th 1691, a witness at the church of Holy Trinity in the Minories, London, during the reign of King William 111 of Orange and England, 1689 - 1702. 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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