This interesting surname is a variant form of the surname derived from the given name "Derrick", a pet form of "Theodoric", which is composed of the Germanic elements "theuda", people, and "ric", ruler; this was a popular personal name among the Goths. Theodoric the Great ruled in Northern Italy in the 5th and 6th Centuries, and legend says that he was a dragon-slayer who killed twelve champions for the reward of one rose and one kiss. The personal name appears as "Theodric" and "Tedrick", both Saxons, in the Domesday Book of 1086, and little evidence is found for it until it was reintroduced by Flemings engaged in the wool trade in the 15th Century. Derrick is now a popular surname in Somerset. The surname itself appears regularly in the Church Registers of Gloucestershire. Examples include: the christening of Richard, son of James Derret on May 6th 1576, at Badgeworth; the marriage of Alice Derrat and John Trottman on November 16th 1590, at Slimbridge; and the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Derrett, on September 23rd 1600, at Brockworth. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Deritt, which was dated 1554, marriage to Elinor Simons, at Oldbury Upon Severn, Gloucestershire, during the reign of Queen Mary, known as "Bloody Mary", 1553 - 1558. 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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