This interesting and unusual surname is a dialectal variant of "Sanbrook" a place in Shropshire which was recorded "Semebre" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and "Sambrok" in the Feudal Aids of 1285. The placename itself means "sandy stream" from the old English "sand", the old "sandr" or the old Swedish element "Sander", meaning sand, and is a common element found in placenames plus the second element "broc", the old English word for brook or stream. People were very often identified by their place of origin, hence placenames were one of the main factors in surname formation. The surname itself first appeared in records in the mid 13th Century (see below). The London church Registers record the following early entries of the name, Thomas Sandbroke who married Margaret Myller on July 5th 1578 at St. Margaret's Westminster; Peter Sandebrooke who was christened at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster on February 8th 1582; while one Elizabeth Sandbroke was christened at St. Mary Aldermany, on January 20th 1582 and Thomas Sanbrook was christened at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, on March 29th 1713. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de Sanbrok, which was dated 1258, in the Feet of Fines of Staffordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "the Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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