This is an example of the extraordinary number of variants which developed in the 12th and 13th Centuries from the Saxon personal name "Richard", which is composed of the Germanic elements "ric", power, and "hard", meaning brave or strong. The personal name was popularized in England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, although it existed in some forms before that, and gave rise to many diminutives and pet forms. "Hick" is one of these, due partly to the inability of the native English to pronounce the "r" sound, as happened with Robert (Hobb), and Roger (Hodge). Hick and its variant forms Hitch and Ick(e) are thus diminutive forms of Richard, while Hick(e)s, Higgs, Hitches, Ickes, Hick(e)son, Hixon, Higson and Hi(t)chisson are the direct patronymics from Hick. One John Higgins, at the age of 20 yrs., was one of the first bearers of the name to emigrate to the New World; he left London in January 1634 bound for the Barbadoes. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Higson, which was dated 1487, in the "Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London", during the reign of King Henry V11, known as "Henry Tudor", 1485 - 1509. 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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