Recorded in several forms including Peacham, Peachman, Peckham, Peckman and possibly others, this is an English surname. Its origin is open to conjecture. It may be locational from Peckham, a former village in the diocese of Greater London, but is more likely to be job descriptive. If so it is a name which seems to have no connection with selling or growing peaches. The apparent descent is from the Middle English "pekke" a word which describes a measure, usually of grain, and therefore a Peachman or Peckman would be a maker or user of these measures. The name is also found in Germany and is again job descriptive although then for somebody who boils pitch! There would not seem to be any connection between these origins, although it is possible, anything is possible with surnames. It has also been suggested that the name could derive from the Olde English pre 10th century "pic" describing a hill dweller, but if so we have no collaborative evidence. The early recordings of the name include Hervicus Pecke of Suffolk in 1283, and somewhat later Henry Peachman, who married Ann Emmerson at St Benets Church, Pauls Wharf, London on November 26th 1636, Elizabeth Peckman, who married Will Tillden at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on November 15th 1648, and Sarah, the daughter of Daniel and Mary Peacham, who was christened at St Dunstans Church, Stepney, on June 4th 1769. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Pecke, which was dated 1187, in the Kings Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The church builder" 1154 - 1189. 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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