Last name: Dixon

This interesting surname is a patronymic from "Dick" a medieval pet form of Richard, one of the most popular names in the 11th and 12th Century, deriving from the Anglo-Saxon "Richard", itself from the Old Germanic personal name made up of the elements "ric", power, and "-hard", hardy, brave, strong (found in the pre-7th Century in England, but was popularized by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066), plus the diminutive "son", son of. The personal name was first recorded in the 1220 Curia Rolls of Lancashire, when one Dicke Smith was mentioned and "Dik", was recorded in the Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire in 1260. The patronymic "Dikson", meaning "son of Dick", first appears in 1332, in the Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland. A Coat of Arms was granted to George Dixon of Rainshaw, Durham, on September 14th 1616. Interesting namebearers include George Dixon (died 1800), who served on the "Resolution" with Captain Cook and who also discovered the Queen Charlotte islands; Robert Dixon (died 1688), who went to Cambridge University (1638), and was imprisoned in Leeds Castle, Kent, for refusing the solemn league and covenant in 1644. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thom Dicson, which was dated 1307, in Castle Douglas, Scotland, during the reign of King Robert "The Bruce" of Scotland, 1285 - 1329. 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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