This interesting surname is a developed form of the famous Dyk(e) or Dyck(e), which occurs in every northern European country. The origin is the Old Norse pre 6th Century "diki", and whilst the word came to mean a major ditch or dyke, its earliest from probably described an area of flat land which required draining. As a surname the word is either topographical for one who lived by such a dyke or job-descriptive for a builder of dykes. By the medieval period "the dyke" came to be regarded as a defence system often forming part of a fortress. The changed role can be seen in the development of heraldry, no less than six Coats of Arms being granted to the Netherlands alone to nameholders called Dyk, Dyke and Dica. The spelling as Dyka or Dykas would seem to be first recorded in West Prussia, however, Prussian and Polish surnames are interconnected, and in any case both relate back to the original Norwegian. The name is rarely recorded, suggesting that its form is either dialectal (from Dycke), or a diminutive "little Dyck", or in the case of Dykas, a patronymic. Recordings include, Cashimiry Dyka and his wife, Anna, who were witnesses at the christening of their daughter, Marianna, at Graudenz, West Prussia, on July 21st 1765, whilst Daniel Dykas was a witness at the christening of his daughter Dorola, at Wieniec, Bydjoskiego, Poland on March 1st 1817. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Paulus Dyka, which was dated November 28th 1762, a witness at Graudenz, West Prussia, during the reign of Frederich the Great, King of Prussia, 1740 - 1786. 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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