This interesting surname is the patronymic form of "Stark", i.e., "son of Stark", itself deriving from the old English pre 7th Century "stearc" meaning firm, unyielding, harsh and severe and would have originated as a nickname for a stern, determined person or a physically strong person. In some cases the name derives from the old Norse "sterkr" meaning strong and brave. One, Rannulf Stark, appears in the Pipe Rolls of Suffolk (1222) and William Stark (witness), is noted in the Fine Court Rolls of Essex (1314). The surname is first recorded in the early 17th Century (see below). In the modern idiom, the surname is also found as Starking and Starcks. Other recordings of the surname from the London church registers include; Alice Starking, who married Joseph Arnold, on October 2nd 1699, at South Mimms, on June 2nd 1787, the marriage of Mary Starkings to Joseph Stroud, took place on June 7th 1787 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster; and George, son of Benjamin Starkings was christened on December 13th 1846 at St. Mary's, St. Marylebone Rd.. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jone Starkin, (marriage to John Dudley), which was dated January 17th 160, St. Bride, Fleet Street, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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