This interesting surname is a patronymic form of Dick, itself a pet form of the given name Richard. Richard originated from a rare Anglo-Saxon name "Ricehard" meaning rule-hard. An 8th Century English Kinglet of this name died at Lucca, in Italy, on his way to Rome, and is there still venerated as St. Ricardo, but it was the Old German Ricohard that was spread by two pre-Conquest Dukes among the Normans, and brought by them to this country. A Ricard is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086; but the softer French Richard prevailed, with several short forms, such as Rich, Rick, Dick, Hick, Dickie, Richie, etc.. The surname is first recorded in the mid 14th Century, (see below). One, John Dykonesson, is noted in the register of the Freemen of the City of York (1388). In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Dickenson, Dickinson, Dickeson, Dickison, Dickason, etc.. On November 9th 1629, Dorithy Dickerson married William Sheapheard at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. The christening of Barbare, daughter of Peter Dickerson, took place on September 26th 1657, at St. Olave, Southwark, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Dykounson, which was dated 1366, Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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