This unusual name, of early medieval English origin, is derived from a nickname for a bather or a person who liked swimming, from the Middle English word "dokare", "douker", a bather, or a diving bird. The name is an example of that sizable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. Nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal or bird's appearance or disposition, as well as habits of dress and occupation. The surname itself first appears in records in the mid 14th Century (see below). Early recordings found in London Church Records include: one Elsabeth Duckar, who married Thomas Edlyn at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on January 15th 1542; Bettrys Ducker, who married John Rosse on July 1st 1548, also at St. Margaret's; and the christening of John Ducker in November 1594, at St. Olave's, Hart Street. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Philip Ducker, which was dated 1365, in the "Register of the Freemen of the City of York", 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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