This surname BARKE was of the locational group of names, the dweller at the bark-house, where the bark was stored for tanning purposes. Local names usually denoted where a man held land and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Robert Barcarius, 1273, County Lincolnshire. Edward Barkes of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Ricardi Barkes, was recorded in the year 1402 in County Lancashire George Barks and Hannah Barnes were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1774. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The bulk of European surnames in countries such as England and France were formed in the 13th and 14th centuries. The process started earlier and continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the 11th century people did not have surnames, whereas by the 15th century they did. Surnames as we know them today, were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th century. They were not in use in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for a gentleman to have but one single name, as the meaner sort. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. A notable member of the name was James Barke (1905-58) the Scottish novelist, born in Torwoodlee, Selkirk. He retired from his position as chief cost accountant with a ship-building company to devote himself to writing novels. They include 'The World his Pillow' (1933) and 'The Land of the Leal' (1939), but he is chiefly remarkable for his devoted research on the life of Robert Burns (1946-54).
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