Recorded in several spelling forms, this is an English surname. Chiefly found in the West Midlands, it is of medieval origin and is a distinguishing nickname surname for a "superior" maker of machinery or objects. The derivation is from the pre 7th Century 'wyrcan', meaning to work or make, and often referred to a craftsman who worked in wood. However the name as Wright when used without a prefix 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 words 'mykill', meaning great or big, thus probably referring to a superior or better wright, one at the top of his trade and skill.It is hardly likely to be sardonic, which nicknames often were, because a man's trade was his greatest asset. 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 that we have been able to find is that of Robert Micklewright. This was dated 1604, at Prees in Shropshire, during the reign of King James Ist of England and Scotland, 1603 - 1625. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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