This unusual name is locational from either of the places in Lancashire which are called 'Charnock Richard' and 'Heath Charnock'. The 'Charnock' element derives from the Welsh 'carn' meaning 'rock' or 'stone' and thus the whole means 'rocky district'. The placename is first recorded as 'Chernoc' in 1190. Locational names were usually given to the lord of the manor and to local residents and especially to those who left their home area and went to live or work in another village or town. There are two spellings of the name in the modern idiom, 'Charnick' and 'Charnock' the latter appearing some hundred years earlier than the former, which is recorded first in the baptism of Nicholas Charnick on the 2nd September 1632, at St.Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Charnock. which was dated Married Anne Styth, 30th January 1539, London. during the reign of King Henry VIII 'Bluff King Hal' 1509-1547. 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.
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