This interesting name is of early medieval English origin. It has has at least five possible sources. The first being that it is residential for somebody who lived at a place called Stock, such as Stock Gaylard in Dorset, or perhaps Stocksbridge in Yorkshire. The second is that it is topographical for someone who lived near an area of cleared trees, that is where the branches had been removed and the remaining trunk or stumps either left to die or to fom a coppice. The third possibility relates to residence by a bridge built of "stocks" or tree trunks from the Old English word "stocc", meaning a trunk or stump. Another possible explanation is a medieval nickname surname for a stout and stocky man, whilst yet another is as an occupational nickname for a keeper of the stocks, used as a form of punishment. The name was an early introduction to the colonies of New World when Robert Stock sailed from the port of London on July 10th 1635 to Berumuda aboard the ship "Truelove", whilst slightly earlier Anne Stocks was christened on February 10th 1581 at All Hallows church, London Wall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de la Stokke. This was dated 1225, Assize Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 111, "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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