Backs

Backs - what does Backs surname mean?

This unusual and interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is one of the patronymic forms of the Olde English pre 7th Century male personal name `Bacca`, found also as Backs, Backes and Bax, the latter form being from a phonetic spelling. The name means `the son of Bacca`, the `s` of `Back(e)s` being a reduced form of `son of`. Bacca itself was still in use as a personal name or byname in the 12th Century, when one `Bacce` was recorded in the Calendar of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, in circa 1189, and the surname was first recorded in the mid 11th Century (see below). The name is thought to derive from the Olde English word `baec`, in Middle English (1200 - 1500) `bakke`, back, used originally as a byname for someone with a prominent chin or back, from the sense of `back` as a ridge, prominence. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include the marriage of Henry Bax and Rebecca Bowdell at St. James`, Duke`s Place, on June 26th 1679. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwine Bace, which was dated circa 1055, in `Old English Bynames of Somerset`, during the reign of King Edward `The Confessor`, King of England, 1042 - 1066. 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.

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