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Kelk Coat of Arms / Kelk Family Crest

Kelk Coat of Arms / Kelk Family Crest

This surname of KELK was a locational name meaning 'one who came from KELKE' in County Lincolnshire. The place was owned by a family from where the place got its name. There are also two townships in Yorkshire called KELK, Great and Little Kelk, which are about five miles from Great Driffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Walter KELKE, who was documented in County Norfolk in the year 1273. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Later instances include Thomas KELKE and Anne Milton, who were married at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1656, and John KELKE and Alice Thompson were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1731. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. John Tomlinson and Elizabeth KELK were wed at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1754.


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Last Updated: January 15th, 2021

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