This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Purbrook in Hampshire. The placename was recorded as "Pukebrok" in the 1248 Assize Rolls and in the 1255 Feet of Fines of the county, and the derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "puca", goblin or watersprite, and "broc", brook, a natural freshwater stream smaller than a river; hence, "brook of the watersprite". During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Regional and dialectal differences have produced variations in the spelling of the name, which can be found as Purbrook, Purebrook, Purebrick, Purebricke, Purbricke, Purbrick and Perbrick. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the christening of Joane, daughter of Martin and Marye Purbrook, on November 27th 1606, at Edgcott, Buckinghamshire; the marriage of Edmund Purbricke and Margery Butler on August 5th 1635, at Brampton, Oxfordshire; and the christening of Edward, son of Edward and Margaret Purbrick, on January 10th 1691, at St. Nicholas', Abingdon, Berkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Purbricke, which was dated 1592, marriage to Elizabeth Mayne, in Westwell, Oxfordshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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