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date: 18 February 2020


The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

Patrick Hanks,

Richard Coates,

Peter McClure


Variants: Starke, Starck, Starks, Starkey

  • Current frequencies: GB 4624, Ireland 44

  • GB frequency 1881: 4087

  • Main GB location 1881: central Scotland: esp. Lanarks

  • Main Irish location 1847–64: Limerick; Tyrone

1 English, Scottish: nickname from Middle English stark ‘strong, sturdy; harsh, severe’ (Old English stearc ).

Early bearers:

  • England

    Rannulf Stark, 1222 in Curia Regis Rolls (Suffolk); William Stark, 1314 in Feet of Fines (Essex); Johannes Starke, 1377 in Poll Tax (Langham, Rutland); Thomas Sterke, 1379 in Poll Tax (Ash, Dorset); John Stark, 1539 in IGI (Pettistree, Suffolk); Mary Stark, 1564 in IGI (Canterbury, Kent); Thomas Stark, 1575 in IGI (Laceby, Lincs); Henry Stark, 1577 in IGI (Garvestone, Norfolk); Richard Starck, 1676 in IGI (Culmstock, Devon); William Stark, 1700 in IGI (Fordingbridge, Hants); Mary Stark, 1738 in IGI (Thorley, IoW).

  • Scotland Margaret Stark, 1571 in IGI (Dunfermline, Fife); Margaret Stark, 1596 in IGI (Falkirk, Stirlings).

2 German, Jewish (Ashkenazic): see Starck.

StarkClick to view larger

Stark, 1881 frequency.

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