This unusual name has three possible regional origins, the most likely being Scottish, from the places called 'Inch' in Angus and in Perthshire. 'Inch' can also be a variant of the surname 'Innes', which is a Scottish locational name from a barony in the former county of Moray. All three places are so called from the Gaelic word 'inis', meaning an island between two rivers. One 'John de Inche' witnessed a charter by John Ramsay, burgess of Montrose, in 1430, and a 'George Inch' is recorded as a burgess of Edinburgh in 1734. The name 'Inch' can also come from Cornwall, where one 'Richard Ynch' is recorded in 1406 at St. Kew, and from the Isle of Man, where 'Sir William Inch' is recorded in 1419. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John del Inche, burgess of Inverkeithing, which was dated 1296, rendered homage (Public Record Office, Scotland), during the reign of John Balliol, King of Scotland, 1292 - 1296. 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.