Sunday, July 13, 2008

Internet Surname Database for Lock or Locke

Lock or Locke is a wonderful name. Composed of five letters, it is neat and concise, and it's the name Judie used until she got married. George's great grandmother also answered to the name of Locke, Catherine Locke, to be exact. While Judie's Lockes lived in Indiana, and North Carolina before that, George's Lockes were firmly rooted in Northumberland on the border between Scotland and England. That particular border being a very dangerous place, many of the border people moved to Ireland and earned the name of "Scots-Irish" when they came to America where they were a fiercely independent group; still a border people, only in America they provided the border, or buffer, between the colonies and the Indians. Since many of Judie's ancestors came from this group, there may be more than one shared surname if you could follow the elusive ancestor trail back far enough in time.

Religiously, George's ancestors were dissenters from the established church in England, while Judie's were Quakers. Judie's came to America early (time unknown) and being Quakers, probably for religious reasons. George's also came for religious reasons, but not until Catherine came as a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at the late date of 1922. She came with her daughter and son-in-law, as a widow.


Looking at the posted picture of Robert Locke on Glerkd Alley, one can see his wavy hair, which, if a common trait, could have been the source of his surname. Judie's Locke's could not lay claim to wavy hair, or some would say, much hair at all! Her ancestors looked more like the strong nosed philosopher, John Locke.

Here is a sample of the information found at the Internet Surname Database with a link added to the list at the left:

This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has three distinct possible sources. Firstly, it may be a metonymic occupational name for a locksmith, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "loc", lock, fastening. The name may also be topographical from residence near an enclosure, a place that could be locked, from the Middle English "loke", a development of the Olde English "loca" The Middle English "loke" was used especially of a barrier on a river, which could be opened and closed at will, and, by extensions, of a bridge. The surname may thus also have been a metonymic occupational name for a lock- keeper. Finally, Locke may have originated as a nickname for someone with curly hair, from the Olde English "loc(c)", Old High German "loc", a lock (of hair). Early examples of the surname include: William de Lok, (Berkshire, 1230); William Lock, (Oxfordshire, 1273); and Robert Atteloke, (Cambridgeshire, 1300). Among the recordings of the name in London Church Registers are the christening of Joan, daughter of Mychaell Lock, at St. Giles' Cripplegate, on April 25th 1568, and the marriage of Robert Lock and Mary Baker on October 22nd 1572, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. William Lock was an early emigrant to the American colonies, leaving London on the "Planter" in March 1634 bound for the Virginia Colony of New England. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Leuric Loc. This was dated 1130, in the "Pipe Rolls" of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry 1st of England, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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