This interesting and unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is an example of the many "nickname\surnames" created in early medieval times. The name derives from the Old English pre 7th Century word "puca", in Middle English "pook" or "puck", meaning "elf, sprite, or goblin", and was probably used for someone small in stature and whimsical in thought and movement. The surname development has included Richard le Pouke (1296, Sussex), John le Puk (1332, ibid.), Richard Pouk (1327, Somerset) and Samuell Pooke (1667, London). The modern surname can be found as Pook, Pouck and Pooke. The marriage of James Albon and Ann Pook was recorded at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1787. Church recordings include one Awdry Pooke who was christened on July 16th 1564 at Harrow on the Hill, London, Roger Poake who married Anne Beddington on July 10th 1603 at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London and Richard, son of Richard and Elisabeth Pook who was christened on July 19th 1639 at St. Margaret Moses, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Puch, which was dated 1166, in the "Norfolk Pipe Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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