Recorded in the spellings of Bickmore and Bigmore, this is an English locational surname, and probably of post medieval origins. It derives either from a "lost" place or region, of which we can find no trace, or possibly it is a dialectal transposition of an existing place name such as Bignor in Sussex, or even Bignold, in Staffordshire. Over five thousand British surnames are believed to originate from lost medieval villages or sites, of which the only surviving memory is often the surname. Equally many names had local dialectal pronunciations, which were then "converted" into surnames, an example being Bruminger for Birmingham. This type of corrupted spelling is particularly relevant with locational names, and more so where the original name holder(s) moved some considerable distance. We believe that this surname derives from pre 8th century Norse-Viking word 'byggja' - meaning a building, and 'mor", a watery area, possibly a lake or mere. Examples of the surname recording include John Bickmore, at All Hallows church, Staining, London, on November 8th 1699, and Thomas Bignall, at St. Mary's Church, Cornhill, on March 1st 1726. The first church recording that we have been able to find, is that of Constance Bigmore, who married George Holyoake at the church of St Giles, Cripplegate, London, on September 8th 1599. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 1558 - 1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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