This interesting and unusual surname has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be of Old Norse origin, and would be a locational name from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 15th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The original place was "Thonock" in Lincolnshire, and the derivation is believed to be from the Old Norse element "Tjorn", small lake, tarn. Jone Turnyche married John Cheny on October 31st 1557 at St. Mary Abbots, Kensington, London. The surname may also be of Gaelic origin, and a Scottish locational name from Tunnoch near Maybole, Ayrshire. The placename derives from the Gaelic "toin", rump, hill, lowland, with "(n)ach", a Gaelic suffix denoting "full of" or "abounding in". Thomas Tunnok was juror on an inquest in Aberdeen (1400). Agnes Tinnock married Johne Reid on September 5th 1644 at Ochiltree, Ayrshire. On October 13th 1785, the marriage of William Turnock and Lucy Pearen took place at St. James's, Westminster, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Tunnoc, which was dated 1160, in the "Records of the Abbey of Kelso", during the reign of King Malcom 1V of Scotland, 1153 - 1165. 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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