This most interesting surname is an early medieval English patronymic form of "Dick", which itself is from a pet form of the personal name "Richard", ultimately of Old Germanic origin from a personal name composed of the elements "ric", power and "hard", hardy, strong, brave. Although it was found before the Norman Conquest of 1066, it was popularized in England by the Normans and generated a great number and variety of diminutive and patronymic forms. Variants of the surname "Dix" include Dicks, Dickson and Dixon.The personal name is found in the following early recordings: Dicke Smith, in the Curia Rolls of Lincolnshire in 1220; and Dik de Hyde, in the Assize Court Rolls of Cheshire in 1286. The first recorded bearer of the surname appears in the early 14th Century (see below). Other early examples include one William Dik recorded in the "Calendar of Letter Books ... of the City of London" in 1356, and Thomas Dykkes, rector of Bodney in Norfolk in 1421. Samuell Dix and Norwich emigrated to New England, leaving Ipswich aboard the "Dorothey" bound for New England in 1637, with his wife Joane and children Presella and Abegell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Dyckes, which was dated 1362, in "A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds", Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "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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