This intriguing and unusual name, now chiefly found in West Midlands, is of medieval English origin and is a distinguishing nickname surname for a wright a maker of machinery or objects. The derivation of wright is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'wryhta', a derivative of 'wyrcan', to work or make, and often referred to a craftsman who worked in wood. However the name used in isolation generally referred to a builder of wind or water mills. In the instance of Micklewright or Mickelwright, the prefix is a derivation of the Northern Middle English 'mekill', meaning great, or big, thus probably referring to the physical appearance of such a craftsman. Amongst the sample recordings in London is the christening of one William Mickelwright on December 17th 1671 at St. Botolph without Aldgate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Micklewright, which was dated 1604, Prees, Shropshire, during the reign of King James I of England and Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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