This unusual and interesting name has two possible origins, the first being a metonymic occupational (job descriptive) surname for one who worked or dealt in silk, a silk-merchant. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th century "seolc", from the Latin "sericum". The second possible source is from an English medieval personal name, a short form of e.g., "silkin", itself from "Silverster" or "Silranus", originally meaning "dweller in the wood" and often given in medieval times in honour of various early christian saints. The name development has included "John Silke" (1353, Wiltshire) and "William Sylke" (1615, London). One "Samuel Silk" married Sarah Mann at St. Georges Chapel, Mayfair in 1748. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Selk. which was dated 1170, The Somerset Pipe Rolls. during the reign of King Henry II, 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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