Recorded as Trask, Traske, Thresk, Treske, Thirst, Thurske, and possibly others, this is an English locational surname. It originates from the town of Thirsk in North Yorkshire, famous now for the setting for the James Herriot animal stories, but in the old days being one of the prominent stage coach stopping places between London and Edinburgh. Thirsk was first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as Tresch and Tresc, from the Norse-Viking word trask, meaning a lake. As to when the name became Thirsk is unclear, but certainly well after the introduction of surnames in the 12th century onwards. The first known recording is that of John de Tresk in the year 1301, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England. This John de Tresk was a Freeman of the city of York, and a suter or shoemaker. Locational surnames were usually "from" names. That is to say names given as easy identification to former inhabitants of a place when they moved somewhere else. This surname is an excellent example. Later examples include Johannes de Treske in the Poll Tax rolls of 1379, and Elizabeth Thurske who married John Lambe at St Peters Cornhill, in 1575.
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