The English surname Proctor, found mainly in northern England, is an occupational name from the Middle English term prok(e)tour meaning “steward.” The term was used most commonly of an attorney in a spiritual court, but also of other officials such as collectors of taxes and agents licensed to collect alms on behalf of lepers and enclosed orders of monks. The name dates to the 13th Century, the earliest record is Thomas le Procurator, recorded in the "Hundred Rolls of Lincolnshire" in 1273. The name is first recorded in the New World in 1610 when John Proctor arrived in Virginia. Today there are approximately 35,000 bearers of the name Proctor living in the US.
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