The Scottish surname Parks, also found in England and Ireland, is derived from the Middle English, Old French parc meaning ‘park,” an occupational name for someone employed in a park or a topographic name for someone who lived in or near a park. In the Middle Ages a park was a large enclosed area where the landowner could hunt game. The first written reference to the name is in 1272 when Henry del Parck is recorded in the Assize Court rolls of Staffordshire. The famous Scottish explorer, Mungo Park, (1771 - 1806), led two expeditions to trace the source of the Niger in Africa, and published an account of his adventures, "Travels", in 1799. In The United States there are currently more than 86,000 people living there with the last name Parks.