Recorded in England as Stork, Storke, the patronymics Storks and Storkes, and in Germany Storch, Storcke, Storchen, Storcher, and perhaps Sturch, this unusual and interesting name is medieval. It is one of a large group of names which were originally nicknames, and described somebody who 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. This could have described a person with long legs, or 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. Early examples of the surname recordings include Ulman Storchelein of Strasburg, in 1371, Paul Storch of Stolp in Germany in 1546, and from church registers of Greater London, England, Barsaba Stork who married William Chribe at St Antholins church on March 18th 1618, whilst on September 4th 1681, and Martha Storke, christened at St. Bololphs Bishopsgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbert Storc. This 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 sometimes 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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