Recorded as Stock, Stocks, Stoke, Stokes, Stuck, Stuke, and the diminutives Stukin and Stukings, this is an English medieval surname. It is a residential surname deriving from the old English pre 7th century word "stoc or stocc" and the later medieval "stock", which formerly had two meanings. The first was a monastery or holy place, as in the village name of Stoke Manderville, although there are literaly dozens of examples, or a place such as Stockeld in the county of Yorkshire, where the prefix relates to stumps of trees. It was common practice to try to clear fell areas of forest to make them suitable for agricuture, but without machinery it was often impossible to remove the roots. So a place became named because of the remaining "stocks" which provided a local landmark. Residential surnames were among the earliest created since both natural and man made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Early examples of recordings include Jacobus Stuke who married Anna Clyfforde on June 26th 1558 at the church of St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, whilst John Stuck was a witness at St. Leonard's Eastcheap, city of London on February 13th 1588. Coincidentally three centuries later Elizabeth Stukings was married at the same church to Matthew Ingle, on October 31st 1850. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de la Stokke. This was dated 1225, in the Assize Court rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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