Last name: Reekie
This interesting surname is of medieval Scottish origin, and has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, the name may be locational in origin from Reikie, a place in the parish of Alford, Aberdeenshire, or from residence by Reekie Linn, a waterfall on the river Isla, in Forfarshire. The most likely derivation for "Reikie" and "Rekie" is the late Middle English "reeky", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "reocan", to emit hot vapour or steam; hence, "foggy, smoky". It is interesting to note that Edinburgh Old Town was known as "Auld Reekie" because it generally appeared to be capped by a cloud of "reek", or smoke, and in some instances, Reekie may have originated as a nickname for someone from Edinburgh. The second possible source is from the male given name "Rikie", itself a pet form of Richard, from the Old German "Richard", a compound of the elements "ric", power, with "hard", hardy, brave, strong. The name was popularized in England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and became a favoured given name throughout England, and in Scotland, thus generating a wide variety of surnames. In 1552, one James Reky in Dundee was charged with "aiding the English", and a John Rekie was noted in Leith, circa 1567. On September 2nd 1705, James Reekie and Margaret Leese were married in Edinburgh, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Rikie, which was dated 1460, in the "Medieval Records of Edinburgh", during the reign of King James 11 of Scotland, 1437 - 1460. 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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John Reekie Nicholson
My favoured meaning of Reekie is related to smoke. As it happens my Great Uncle Willy Reekie of Port Seton in Fife sold fish and smoked his own. His relatives hailed from Fife where they were known as boatbuilders who launched their craft sideways instead of prow first.
My father told me that our version of the name is the original and was originally Scandinavian. An old tale was that two brothers were shipwrecked on the east coast of Scotland.