This name, recorded as Turch and Turcus in the Domesday Book of 1086, may be either an abbreviated form of the Olde Norse given name Thurkill from 'Thor', a divine name referring to the God of Thunder, plus 'ketill', a cauldron, or a nickname from the Olde French 'Turc', meaning 'Turk' and originally given to someone who had taken part in the crusades against the Turks. The Turks were renowned for their bravery, ferocity and fighting prowess and consequently the nickname would have been regarded as a complimentary one. A Ricardus filius (son of) Turk appears in the 1205 'Charter Rolls of Kent' and a William Turc in the 1193 'Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire'. In 1296 one, Robert Turk was recorded in the 'Subsidy Rolls of Sussex'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Eadwin le Turch, which was dated circa 1140 'Early London Personal Names' by E. Ekwall, during the reign of King Stephen, Count of Blois, 1135 - 1154. 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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