This unusual name has both German and/or English origins. It is locational and means 'The dweller near the gate, fence or ledge'. There are four recorded spellings but all have the same meaning -Heck, Hecke, Hek and Hecker, although the latter can be a woodcutter or vinegrower. The origin date is pre 7th century. One Olliver Van Heck of Amsterdam and his wife Katherin, were amongst the earliest New England settlers from London in 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John del Hek which was dated 1219, The Yorkshire Assize Court during the reign of King Henry III, 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.