Recorded as Peach, Peacher, Peche, Petchey, and others, this is an English surname. It is however of medieval French origin of which it has two. It may be occupational and describe a person who kept a fruit orchard, one specialising in peaches or perhaps pears. The second possible origin is from the word peche, the Latin peccatum, meaning sin! As such it may have described a sinner of some sort, but given the robust humour of those Chaucerian times, probably meant the complete reverse. It may well have described someone who was rather too pious for the liking of his peer group. However with all nickname surnames without actually being present at the time when the name was handed out seven centuries or more ago, it is now impossible to be sure as to the real meaning. Interestingly one of the first recordings is that of Robert Pecce, the bishop of Coventry in 1123. The following examples illustrate the name development from the earliest recording (see below) Haimund Peccatum of Suffolk in 1160, Gilbert Pechie of Cambridgeshire in 1200, Geoffrey Peach pf London in 1291, Richard Pecher in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk in 1273. Charles William Peach (1800 - 1886) naturalist and geologist, employed in the customs, made important researches in the study of marine invertebrates and in geology. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willelmus Peccae, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book for Essex. This was during the reign of King William 1st, 1066 - 1087. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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