This name is of early medieval English origin, and is a good example of the many modern surnames that derive from popular personal names. In this case, the surname Perkins in the patronymic form of the Middle English given name Perkin, which is from a diminutive form of the male personal name Peter, with the "pet", diminutive suffix "-kin". Peter is in origin a Greek name, deriving from "petros", stone, rock, and was an extremely popular given name throughout Christian Europe during the Middle Ages, partly because St. Peter is regarded as the founding father of the Christian Church. The vernacular form of the name in England in medieval times was "Piers" from the Old French "Piers, Pierre", and it is this form that generated the diminutive Perkin and Parkin, and thence the patronymics Perkins and Parkins, "son of little Perter". Among the recordings of the name in London is that of the marriage of John Perkins and Penelope Vauchan at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on March 24th 1599. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Perkyns, which was dated 1327, in the "Worcestershire Subsidy Rolls", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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