- This interesting and unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a good example of that sizeable group of early English surnames created from the habitual use of a nickname. In this instance the nickname was originally given to someone who regularly paid "half a mark" on due account days. The mark was a medieval coin and a monetary unit formerly worth approximately two thirds of a pound sterling. There have been other surnames formed from monetary amounts in the Middle Ages, such as John Ninepennys, recorded in 1334, and Fulco Twelpenes, recorded in 1273, but the modern surnames, Hallmark, Allmark, Almack and Awmack, are the only one to survive. The surname development since 1279 (see below) includes: Adam Halfmark (1296, Yorkshire), and John Awmack (1722, ibid.). Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of John Allmarke and Margaret Russell at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, on July 13th 1654. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Alfmarck, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.
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