This interesting surname with variant spellings Walky, Walkey, Walkie, Walkye, Woolkey, Wookey, etc., is of English locational origin from a place called Wookey in the Mendip Hills, Somerset deriving from the rare Old English pre 7th Century "wocig" meaning "snare or trap" which refers to a trap for animals. The place-name is recorded as Woky (1065) and as Wocki (1178) in the Wells. The surname dates back to the mid 16th Century, (see below). Church recordings include one Margarat, daughter of Homfrey Walkey who was christened on February 13th 1574 in Bodmin, Cornwall, and Katherine Walkey married Degorius Warmington on February 5th 1582 in Kilhampton, Cornwall. Edward, son of Edward Walkie, was christened on October 15th 1613 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. A Coat or Arms was granted to a Walkey family in Devonshire which consists of a silver shield with a red engrailed bend on which there are three cinquefoils (five pettaled flowers) which are between two red gryphons heads. The crest being a silver gryphons head charged with two red bentlets holding in his beak three red cinquefoils with green stems. The motto "Vigilate" means "watch". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Walkye witnessed the christening of his son Alson, which was dated 1562, St. Breward, Cornwall, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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