This most unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from a nickname given in the first instance to someone thought to resemble a finch in some way, perhaps with reference to its brightly coloured plumage or sweet singing voice. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "finc", in Middle English "spink", finch, especially the chaffinch. A large number of early medieval surnames were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames, given with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as a person's physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral qualities, fancied resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or to habits of dress, or occupation. The surname is first recorded in the early 12th Century, as below, and one Thomas Spink was listed in the Assize Rolls of Northumberland in 1256. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of Edmonde Spincke and Alice Madison at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on September 5th 1604, and the marriage of Stephen Spink and Ann Ring on October 29th 1696, at St. Katherine by the Tower. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is, on a blue shield, a cross masculy silver between four eagles displayed, gold, the Crest being a talbot passant red bezantee, gorged with three silver fusils. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Spinc, which was dated 1133, in the "Chartulary of Ramsey Monastery", Bedfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1100 - 1135. 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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