Recorded in various forms including Stork, Storke, and the patronymics Storks and Storkes, this unusual and interesting name is medieval English. It is one of a large group of names which were originally nicknames, and who either lived at a house with the sign of the stork, or according to his peer group of the time had a fancied resemblance to the famous bird. As such the nickname could have described a tall, thin person, or perhaps somebody with a prominent chin or nose, or even a homemaker. Without being present at the time that the name was bestowed in the 12th century, it is only possible to make an intellingent guess. What is certain is that nicknames form a major category in the surnames listing. Indeed there are some researchers who believe that all surnames were originally nicknames of a type. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "storc". Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include Barsaba Stork who married William Chribe at St Antholins church on March 18th 1618, whilst on September 4th 1681, Martha Stork, the daughter of John and Alice Stork was christened at St. Bololphs Bishopsgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert Storc, which was dated 1198, in the Pipe Rolls of Kent, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as the Lionheart 1189 - 1199. 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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