Origins of the surname Meech

Meech is a medieval nickname surname for a gentle or self-effacing person deriving from the Medieval English "meek" or the Old Norse "mjukr" meaning "humble" or "meek". The surname from this source is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century (see below). One, Robert le Meke appears in the "Register of the Freemen of the City of York" circa 1300, and an "Alicia Meke", a labourer is registered in "the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire" (1379). The surname is recorded in Scotland from the mid 15th Century. The earliest recorded namebearer there, being William Mek of Cowbyr (1457). It has developed a number of variant forms, and these include Meach and Meech, which seem to originate in the London area, although are found in other places. Examples of the surname recordings include John Meech who married Ann Waters at St Margarets, Westminster, on July 10th 1610, and Thomas Meach, whose daughter Elizabeth was christened at the church of St Katherines by the Tower (of London) on December 6th 1666. She just managed to miss both the great fire of London in 1665 and the Great Plague, which finished in October of 1666, no doubt to the great relief of her parents. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Mek, which was dated 1229, in the Patent Records of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as the Frenchman, 1216 - 1272. 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. -- www.surnamedb.com

This page belongs to the Eucalypt Family History collection, maintained by Ryk Field. Reach me by email to: rykfield@gmail.com