Recorded in many forms including Dicker, Digger, Diggar, and the occupational Digman, Dignam, Dignan, Dignum, and probably others as well, the surname is medieval English. It is also occupational and possibly residential for one who maintained a 'dyke' or 'ditch', a medieval ditch being a canalised river. This was a position of some importance and it is interesting to see that all the early recordings are to be found in the East Anglian, often known as the 'Fen Country', where the upkeep of the dykes was of paramount importance. Examples of the early recordings include: John Dikeman of Suffolk in the 1206 Curia Regis rolls of that county and Richard le Diker of Somerset in the Hundred Rolls of 1327. Later examples taken from the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London include: John Diggar, a witness at the church known as St Benet Fink in the old city of London on June 7th 1652, Mary Digger, who married John Redding at the famous church of St. Mary le Bone, on February 16th 1687 and Bridget Dignam, who married Thomas Shaw at St Georges chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, on July 1st 1766. The first known recording in any spelling is believed to be that of Richard Dikeman, in 'Curia regis' rolls of the city of Lincoln in the year 1206. This was during the reign of King John of England, 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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