Recorded in several forms including Dichet, Dichett, Ditchett, and others, this interesting surname is English. It is a medieval diminutive form of Richard, meaning son of Richard or Little Richard. 'Richard' derives from the pre 7th century Old Germanic personal name 'Ric-hard' made up of the elements "ric", meaning power, and "-hard", brave and strong. Given a build up like this it is not surprising that the name was popular and particularly so with the Norman Invaders of 1066. Although first recorded in England in the 8th century, it was the exploits of Richard, Coeur de Lion, (Richard 1 of England 1189 - 1199) in the crusades of the 12th century which gave it the final seal of approval. It could be said that the popular academic interest of the Medieval Period was the development of nicknames and pet forms, and 'Richard' provided perhaps the greatest number of variants of all. The personal name of 'Dick' was first recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls of Lancashire in 1220, and Dik de Hyde, was recorded in the Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire in 1286. Early examples of the surname recording include William Dik in the rolls of Gloucester in 1356 and William Ditchet was a christening witness at St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on Christmas Day 1661. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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