This picturesque and unusual name is of Medieval English origin and is either a nickname for a merry, cheerful person or a metonymic occupational name for someone who hunted and sold the birds for the cooking pot! The derivation of this surname is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'lawerce', the Middle English 'lavero(c)k', meaning a lark. However, it is also possible that Lark derives from the diminutive of Lawrence - Larkin. The following examples illustrate the name development after the date of the first recording (see below), Ralph Larke (1285 Hundred Rolls of Norfolk), William le Lauerk (13432 Subsidy Rolls, Sussex). Amongst the samples in London are the marriages of Joseph Lark and Anne Shelton on November 7th 1692 at St. Mary, Marylebone Street, and Elizabeth Lark and James Fabian on February 11th 1699 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Juliana Laueroc, which was dated 1243, Assize Rolls of Durham, during the reign of King Henry 11, '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.