This surname of GECK is an English, Devonshire and Cornish surname, originally derived from the Old English word GECHE. It was a nickname which was applied to a fool or stupid person. The name has numerous variant spellings which include GACK, GAGG, GEGG, GACKL, GACKLE, JEEKS, JECK and JEX. It is also a variant of the name JACK, a pet form of JOHN derived from the Hebrew given name YOCJANAN (Jehovah has favoured me with a son), and the name was adopted into the Latin (via Greek) as JOHANNES. This name has enjoyed enormous popularity in Europe, being given in honour of St. John the Baptist, precurser of Christ and of St. John the Evangelist, author of the fourth gospel, as well as others of the nearly one thousand saints of the name. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. Early records of the name in English mention Walter GEEK who was recorded in London, England in the year 1275, and Agnes JAKKES was documented in Huntingdonshire in 1273. Henry le GEKE was listed in County Oxford in the year 1279.
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