Recorded as Peak, Peake, Peek, Peakman, and Peaker, this is an interesting name of medieval English origin. It is either a topographical name for someone living by a pointed hill, or it is regional name and hence describes somebody who lived in the Peak District of Derbyshire, or who came from Peak, a village in the same area and country. The derivation in all cases is from the Old English pre 7th century word "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. Walter le Peaker is recorded at St Bartholomews Hospital in the city of London in 1212, whilst Richard del Peke, from Clwyd, in Wales, in 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: Robert Peake appears in the Muster of the Inhabitants of James Cittie, Virginia, on January 24th 1624. He sailed to the colony on the ship "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. This was dated 1192, in the Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Richard 1st of England, known as "Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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