This interesting and unusual name is of medieval English origin and is locational from a Lamlee in Ulverston, in Furness, North Lancashire, with the derivation of the first element either from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Pica", with "halh", a corner of land formed by a bend in a river, or the first element from the Old English "pic", a peak or pointed hill. The following examples illustrate the name development after 1545 (see below) Jenet Pickthowe, (1547 Ulverston) Ellen Pickthall (Brougleo-in-Furness 1664) Thomas Picthall (Dalton 1718) The local pronunciation and original Old English spelling is "Pickthawe", as in John Turner of Pickthawe (1644) and James Picthowe of Pickthowe Ground (1610).One, Arthur Pickthall was christened on March 6th 1682, at Dalton-in-Furness, Lancashire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Esabell Picthawe, which was dated 1545, Ulverston Church, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Bluff King Hal", 1510 - 1548. 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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