This interesting and unusual surname, with variant spelling "Bichener", "Bicheno", "Bitcheno" etc., is probably an ancient heraldic name, which derives from the German "Becher" and the French "Bichet", which was generally the term given to an offical corn-measurer or perhaps a maker of measures. The modern form of the word is medieval French, but the origin is from the Greek, "Bikos", meaning vase, container. The name has been recorded in England since the mid 17th Century, (see below) and is probably associated more with the Flemish weavers and their descendants, than the Huguenots. The first recorded holder of the name is found under the varied spellings of Connyers Bechinno, (1664), Conviers Bechinoe (1677) and Conyard Bechino (1680). One Robert Bitcheno married Ann Church at Hardmead, Buckinghamshire on September 24th 1691. George, Otto Frederick and Henry James, sons of Otto and Esther Bichner were christened at St. Annes Soho, London on March 15th 1785, May 19th 1795 and February 5th 1797, respectively. One Susanna Beechiner was christened in Manchester Cathedral on December 31st 1837. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Conyers Bechino, which was dated July 1663, married Elizabeth Kempsch, at St. Catherine's Church, London, during the reign of King Charles 11, "The Merry Monarch", 1650 - 1685. 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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