This most interesting and unusual surname, with variant spellings Puttock, Puttack, Puttuck and Pottock originated as an English nickname which was given to a rapacious or a particularly ravenous fellow, from the Old English pre 7th Century word "puttocke", kite, a bird of prey. The creation of surnames from nickname was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. This surname is one of the earliest recorded, first appearing in the mid 11th Century (see below). The Domesday Book of 1086 records an Aluied Pottoch in Somerset, while one Edricus Puttuc appears in 1148 in Hampshire, in the Liber Wintoniensis. John Puttok was recorded in the Hertfordshire Pipe Rolls of 1176. Patience Putticke married Robert Tiras on April 7th 1681 at St. James, Dukes Place, London, while John Puttick married Charlotte Ashlett in 1787 at St. James, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aelfricus Puttuc, which was dated 1034, "Old English Bynames", during the reign of King Canute, Danish King of England (1016 - 1035). 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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