Last name: Witch

Recorded in a very wide range of spellings including Weech, Week, Weeke, Weekes, Wich, Wych, Weetch, Wick, Wickes, Wicks, Wix, Wike, Witch, Wykes, and Whick, this is an English surname. Its relative popularity is because it is either a topographical name from residence on or near a dairy farm, or an occupational name for a worker at such a place. The derivation is from the pre 7th Century word "wic", an early loan word from the Latin "vicus", meaning an outlying settlement dependent on a larger village, and especially a dairy-farm. Several places in the south west of England, for example Week in Devonshire, Cornwall, and Somerset, are named with the above element, and in some the surname particulary as Week, Weeke, Weeks or Weekes, may be locational from any of these places. Early examples of the surname include: Alueredus de Uuica of the county of Somerset in 1084; Goscelin del Wich of Worcestershire in 1184; and Jordan de la Wike of Gloucestershire in 1194. The addition of a final "s" to topographical and locational surnames was a usual medieval practice. It denotes one who was resident at a place, rather than from it. Other later recordings include Symon Weeks, of Devonshire, a worsted weaver. Aged only sixteen, he was an early emigrant to the New World, leaving for St. Christophers in the Barbados in February 1634, whilst in London, Benjamin Weich married Aurrelia Clarke at St James Clerkenwell, on September 21st 1653, and Henry Witch married Ann Rugrove at St Olaves, Southwark, on June 26th 1774. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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