This unusual name is of early medieval English origin, and is one of the patronymic surnames formed from the given name Dickin or Diggen, diminutives of Dick, itself a pet form of the male personal name Richard. This name was originally found in Anglo-Saxon England, but was popularized by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066 as "Ricard" and "Richard"; the Normans had adopted the name from the Old German "Richard", composed of the elements "ric", power, with "hard", hardy, brave, strong. The personal name appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Ricard", and the diminutive forms as "Dicun" in 1207, in Yorkshire, and as "Digge" in 1246, in Lancashire. The surname from the diminutive first appears in the early 13th Century, with the recording of John Digun in the 1227 Assize Rolls of Buckinghamshire; one Richard Digon was listed in the Hundred Rolls of London in 1273. The patronymic form of the name can be found as Diggens, Diggins, Diggines, Digings and Digance. London Church Records include the marriage of Nicholas Diggins and Gillian Smith at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, on August 29th 1580. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elyzabeth Dyggyns, which was dated July 15th 1555, christened at St. Martin's, Ludgate, London, during the reign of Queen Mary 1, 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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