The English surname Stark, also found in Scotland and Ireland, is derived from the Middle English term stark meaning “firm, or unyielding,” hence a nickname for a stern, determined, or physically strong person. The name is first recorded in 1314 when William Stark appears in the Fine Court Rolls of Essex as a witness. The surname is well recorded in Scotland from the late 14th Century onwards. The name, with its variant forms Starkie and Starkey, is in Ireland since the 14th Century. A notable bearer was the 19th Century American businessman and politician Benjamin Stark. Today there are approximately 42,000 people with the family name Stark residing in The United States.
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