T The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of his unusual surname is one of the many forms of the medieval Deekman or Dicman. These manifest themselves in the modern dialectal spellings of Digman, Dignam, Dignan, Dignum, and probably others as well. The surname is occupational and possibly residential for one who maintained a 'dyke' or 'ditch', a medieavl ditch being a canalsied 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 and 'fen' region of England, 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 Thomas Dekeman of Cambridge, registered in the 1327 Hundred Rolls. The name is also recorded in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379 when Thomas Dikman is so registered. Somewhat later Bridget Dignam married Thomas Shaw at St Georges chapel, Hanover Square, London, on July 1st 1766, whilst in 1786 Peter Carroll and Margaret Digman were married at the same church. The coat of arms most associated with the surname has the blazon of a red field, charged with a gold chevron, between three demi lions rampant. The crest is a demi horse rampant in gold. which was dated Richard Dikeman1206, the curia regis rolls of Lincoln, during the reign of King John of England, known as 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. 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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