This is an interesting name of medieval English origin and is either a topographical name for someone living by a pointed hill, or a regional name from the Peak District in Derbyshire. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "peac", a peak or pointed hill. This word "peac" is not related to the Old English "pic", point, which yielded "Pike", but the surnames are occasionally confused, for example, one John Pyke, who paid rent to the Abbot of Leicestershire in 1477, is the ancestor of a notable family, whose name took various forms such as Peke and Pick, until it settled as Peake in the 17th Century. A certain Richard del Peke, from Clwyd, Wales (circa 1284) is the ancestor of a family called Peake, some of whom emigrated to New Zealand and Canada. The name is also recorded early on in America: one Robert Peake appears in the "Muster of the Inhabitants of James Cittie", Virginia, taken on January 24th 1624. He sailed to the colonies on the "Margrett and John", out of London, in 1623. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard del Pec, which was dated 1192, Enysham, in the "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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