There are two possible meanings of this medieval name of English origin, the first being that it is a dialectal variant of "Brocklebank" a locational name from a place so called near Wigton in Cumbria, with the derivation from the Middle English "broc(k)", a badger, and the Northern Middle English "bank(e)", the bank, or slope, and apparently descriptive of a bank, that was a favourite haunt of badgers. However Brockbank may also be a topographical name for a dweller by the bank of a brook, brock, being a variant of brook, deriving from the Old English pre 7th Century "broc", a brook or water meadow. Amongst the sample recordings in Cumbria are the marriage of Thomas Brookbank and Ginett Brownrigg on February 16th 1616, and George Brockbank and Elizabeth Murwhat on November 28th 1643, both at Millom. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Brokesbank, which was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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.