This interesting surname of English and Scottish origin is a locational name from Wark on the river Tweed in Northumberland, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "(ge)weorc" meaning "(earth)works", "fortification". The surname dates back to the mid 14th Century, (see below). Further recordings include John of Werk who was recorded in the "Calendar of documents relating to Scotland" in 1424. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Wark, Work, Worke, etc.. John, son of John and Margery Worke, was christened at St. Dunstan's Stepney, on August 10th 1656, and James Wark married Elizabeth Jones on March 29th 1812, at Hatfield, Hertfordshire. William Jones, son of James and Elizabeth Wark, was christened on March 28th 1813, also at Hatfield, Hertfordshire. One Martha (aged 20), and Mary Jane Wark (aged 19), were famine emigrants who sailed from Liverpool aboard the Hottinguer bound for New York on June 15th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Work, which was dated 1349, Freeman of the city of York, during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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